This most interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a variant of "White", which itself has two possible origins. Firstly, it may be a nickname given to someone with white hair or a pale complexion, from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "hwit", white, which is found in the Olde English personal name "Hwita". Secondly, it may have been a topographical name for "a dweller by a bend or curve" in a river or road, from the Olde English word "wiht", a derivative of "wican", to bend. The personal name "Whita" is recorded in the Domesday Book of Suffolk in 1086, while the surname itself first appears in the early 11th Century (see below). One Ordgar se Wite is recorded circa 1070 in Herefordshire, in "Old English Bynames". Other early examples of the surname include Alestanus Hwit (Hampshire, 1066), and Alwin Wit (Hampshire, 1066), both recorded in the Domesday Book. Robert With or Withie, aged 20 yrs., was one of the early settlers in the New World, having embarked from London in September, 1635 for New England on the "Hopewell". Agnes Witt was christened on September 27th 1601 at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London. A Coat of Arms was granted to a Witt family in Lincolnshire, depicting a black griffin segreant on a silver field, and a Crest consisting of a dexter hand couped in fess apaumee. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thurcil Hwita, which was dated 1038, in the "Old English Bynames", Herefordshire, during the reign of King Harold, "Harefoot", Danish ruler of England, 1035 - 1040. 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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