That this name is topographical is beyond argument, it derives from the Olde English "Wippe" plus "Hlaw" meaning "The Willow hill". However it may also have been locational and derives from a place called "Willow Hill" but if so, we have not been able to establish its (former) existence. The surname is first recorded in the early 18th Century, suggesting that the original holders may have been the victims of a wholesale "sheep clearance" scheme, which was common in the period and commonly known as "Enclosure". The name recordings include Mary Witherow who married John Mitchel at East Hatley on December 18th 1709 and James Withrow recorded at Conington, Cambridgeshire in 1766. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gervase Withero, which was dated 1704, Married Mary Howard at East Hatley, Cambridge, during the reign of Queen Anne "The Last Stuart Monarch", 1702 - 1714. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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