Recorded as Wolbold, Wolfer, Wolfert, Wolfher, Wulfert, Wolfart, Woolard, Woolrich and patronymics Wolvers, Wolverstone, Wolversen, Wolverson, and Wolverston, as well as many other now obsolete forms, this is a surname of Anglo-Saxon and Germanic origins. It derives from the pre 6th century compound personal name 'Wolfhard'. This type of baptismal name signifying toughness, honour, prowess, and loyalty, was extremely popular in all the Nordic races throughout the dark ages. It entered the British Isles over many centuries through the Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, or after 1066, the Normans. The 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 Margary Wolverson who married William Hall at St Botolphs Bishopgate, in the city of London, on November 23rd 1562, Barbara Wolfer, christened at Wuerttemburg, Germany on February 12th 1598, and Hans Wolfers, christened at Bitburg, Rheinland, on November 30th 1669. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Vogel Wolver. This was dated 1274, in the charters 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 sometimes 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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