Recorded in the spellings of Wider, Wither, Withur, and Withers, this interesting name is medieval English. It has two possible origins, the first of which is from the Norse male personal name "Vitharr", or the Old Danish form "Withar". Composed of the elements "vith"and "arr", the meaning is given as being the broad messenger! The Domesday Book of 1086 records the personal name as "Wither" in Norfolk, and as "Wider" in Lincolnshire, and one Richerus filius Wither is recorded in Norfolk in 1153. The first recording of the modern surname (see below) is from this source. The second possible origin of the surname is from an Anglo-Saxon topographical name for someone who lived near a willow tree, derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "withe". The first recording of the name from this source is contained in the Sussex Subsidy Rolls of 1327, with one John Wythiar. The plural form of the name Withers, is either the patronymic (son of Wither), or the genitive form, "of the willow tree". The marriage of John Withers and Annie Newton was recorded in London on September 13th 1584. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Withur. This was dated 1160, in the charters relating to the Gilbertine Houses of London, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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