This ancient surname, recorded in the spelling of Wolfer, Wolfers, Wolffers, Wolfert, Wolfher, Wulfert, Wolfart and many other now obsolete forms, derives from the pre 6th century German compound personal name 'Wolf-hard'. This type of baptismal name signifying battle, honour, prowess, and loyalty, was extremely popular in all the nordic races throughout the dark ages, and was also 'imported' into Britain by the Anglo-Saxon invaders of the 5th - 8th century. In Britain its modern spellings are such as Wolbold, Woollard, and Woolrich. The predatory 'wolf' has long held a high place in the German mythology, and not surprisingly in this case the 'canting' coat of arms granted in Saxony circa 1490 a.d. has the very distinctive blazon of a black wolf on a gold field. The surname is one of the earliest on the German records, as shown below, and another example taken from the same period is that of Heinrich Wolfer of Eblingen in 1350. The plural form of the name is generally accepted as meaning 'son of', although it can be purely dialectal, to aid pronunciation. Other examples of the name recording taken from authentic church records includes those of Barbara Wolfer, daughter of Peter Wolfer, christened at Wuertt on February 12th 1598, and Hans Wolfers, christened at Bitburg, Rheinland, on November 30th 1669. Adam Wulfert was recorded at Oberfranken, Bayern on August 7th 1696, whilst Anna Catarina Wolferts was christened at Solingen, Rheinland, on August 22nd 1722. This may be the same Anna Catarina Wolfers who married Gorig Loss at Bitburg, Rheinland, in 1728, spelling not being a strong point of the time, but this is not proven. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Vogel Wolver, which was dated 1274, the records of Altdorf, Bayern, Germany, during the reign of Emperor Rudolf 1st of Hapsburg, 1273 - 1291. 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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