This ancient and curious name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a locational surname deriving from either of the places called Wittering in Northamptonshire and in Sussex. The place in Northamptonshire is recorded in the Saxon Chartulary of 972 - 992 as "Witheringige"; in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Witheringham"; and in the Pipe Rolls of the county of 1167 as "Witeringa". The name means "the settlement of Wither's people", derived from the Olde English personal name "Wither", adopted from the Old Norse "Vitharr", composed of the elements "vith", wide, and "arr", messenger, with the Olde English suffix "-ing(as)", people, tribe of, and "ham", settlement, enclosure. The place in Sussex is recorded in the Saxon Chartulary as "Wihttringes" in 683; as "Westringes" in the Domesday Book; and as "Witteringes" in 1227, and means "(the place of) Wihthere's people", from the Olde English personal name "Wihthere", of obscure etymology, but thought to mean "guard-army", and "-ing(as)", as before. Locational surnames were acquired particularly by those former inhabitants of a place who had settled elsewhere. The marriage of William Wittering and Bellah Lupton was recorded in Nun Monkton in Yorkshire, on May 13th 1776. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Witterins, which was dated December 5th 1563, marriage to Sibbell Sauffwell, at St. Mary at Hill, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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