This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is most likely an English locational surname from either of the places called Woodsome in Yorkshire, or Woodstone in Huntingdonshire; the former is recorded as "Wodehus" in the 1236 Feet of Fines, while the latter placename appears as "Widestun" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles in 973. Woodsome is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "wudu", wood, and "husum", houses. The placename in Huntingdonshire, however, means "a settlement in a wood", and is composed of the Olde English "wudu", as above, and "-tun", a village, settlement. During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, resulting in a wide dispersal of the surname. Jenet Woddison married Rychard Cawthorne on February 4th 1610, at Barnsley, Yorkshire, while John, son of William Woddison, was christened on August 1st 1619, at St. Giles' Cripplegate, London. Frances Woodson was an early settler in Virginia, recorded there in a census taken on February 16th 1623. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Woddeson, which was dated June 8th 1561, marriage to William Foular, at St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, 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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