This interesting surname is an occupational name for a wood-man or wood-carrier. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'wudere' meaning one who cut and carried wood in a forest. The surname may also be of topographical origin for someone who lived in or by a wood, from the Middle English 'wode', Olde English 'wudu' meaning wood or forest. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below). One Goeffrey le Wodere (witness), appears in the 1280 Assize Court Rolls of Somerset. On September 18th 1629, Isasc, son of Thomas Wooder, was christened at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London. Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas and Mary Wooder, was christened on March 12th 1658, at St. Bride's, Fleet Street. The marriage of Dorothiam Wooder and Jacobus Evans took place at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, on September 18th 1629. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Andrew le Wodere, which was dated 1275, Hundred Rolls of Sussex, 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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