Recorded in a number of spellings as shown below, this interesting surname is from two possible Anglo - Saxon origins. The first is from the Olde English pre 7th Century nickname personal name 'Weorthlic', meaning worthy or distinguished. The second is locational from Woolwich, in the county of Kent, and famous for many years as being the home of Arsenal Football Club. The name means 'The wool farm (or settlement)' , from the words 'wull' and 'wic', the latter usually describing a dairy farm as in Gatwick or a cheese farm in Cheswick, but can also mean a manufacturing settlement. The development of the surname has included John Worlych in 1524, Richard Worleche in 1536, and Maria Worledge in 1671, all in the same county of Suffolk. The modern surname has many spelling variants including Worledge, Worlidge, Wolledge, Woollage and others. Examples of the recordings taken from surviving early church registers include Peter Worlidge at at St Benet Fink, in the city of London on October 22nd 1546, and Ellen Worledge who married William Andros on February 16th 1586 at St. Leonard's Eastcheap, also city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of John Woorliche. This was 1468, in the County Records for Sussex, during the reign of King Edward IV, 1461 - 1483. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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