This unusual and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and may be either a topographical or a locational name. If the former, the derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "wride" meaning "twist" or "turn" from "writhan", to twist, and was used topographically of a winding stream, thereby denoting residence by one such natural feature. 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. If locational, the source of the surname is Wryde in Cambridgeshire or The Wrythe, a hamlet near Croydon in Surrey. Locational names were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere. Occasionally, "wride" may have been applied as a nickname to a "slippery, twisting" individual. Early examples of the surname include: Elyas le Wrede and Hugh Wride, recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Essex and Oxfordshire, dated 1274 and 1279 respectively. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is an azure shield with a fess between three silver falcons, and a gold bordure. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Wrid, which was dated 1199, in the "Pipe Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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