This unusual and interesting name is of English origin and is a dialectal variant of the locational name Whitteridge, from a place called Wheatridge in Northumberland, and perhaps from the three places named Whitrigg in Cumberland. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'Hwaete', wheat and the Old Norse 'hryggr', a ridge, thus a ridge where wheat was grown. The following examples illustrate the name development of the locational name: Robert de Wyterik (1249, Close Rolls, Cumberland) and Robert de Whiterig (1332, Subsidy Rolls, Cumberland).However, the name may also derive from an Old English personal name meaning 'sprite ruler', with the example of William Wyterik (1279) and Henry Wyhtrich (1327). In Manchester Cathedral, Lancashire, one Elizabeth Witterick was christened, on December 11th 1774. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Wickrik, which was dated 1276, Hundred Rolls of Berkshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272-1307. 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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