This interesting surname, of English origin, with variant spellings of Warton and Worton, is a locational name from any of the various places so called. Wharton in Cheshire and Hertfordshire are derived from an Olde English pre 7th Century river name Woefer, from "woefre" meaning wandering or winding plus "tun", settlement. Wharton in Lincolnshire has as it's first element the Olde English "wearde" meaning beacon or "warod", shore, bank, plus "tun". Finally, Wharton in Cumberland is derived from the Olde English "hwearf" meaning wharf or embankment, plus "tun". The place is on the Eden River. The surname dates back to the early 14th Century (see below). Further recordings include one Thomas Wharton (1481) "Paston letters and papers of the 15th Century Oxfordshire". Recordings from Church Registers include: the christening of Thomas, son of Willyam Whartton, at St. Nicholas', Cole Abbey, on April 3rd 1549, and the christening of Elizabeth, daughter of John Wharton, at St. Giles' Cripplegate, on February 24th 1566. Phillipp Wharton was one of the earliest emigrants to Barbados, sailed aboard the "Truelove", from the Port of London in June 1635. The coat of arms most associated with the surname may be per fess gold and red, a green demi lion rampant, and the crest of a bulls head. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Wharton, which was dated 1324, in the "Calendar of Inguisitiones Postmortem", Nottinghamshire, during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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