This is an English occupational surname of medieval 14th century origins. It is the patronymic form of the surname Wright, originally a word used to describe an engineer or builder who worked mainly in wood. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century wyrhta meaning a craftsman or carpenter. As such it was a derivative of the verb wyrcan, meaning to work. The popularity of 'wright' as a descriptive word lead to its frequent use as a compound to give a specific descrption of a particular skill such as wheelwright, cartwright, and wainwright. When 'Wright' is used as a surname on its own, it usually referred to a builder of windmills or watermills. The surname development since the 13th century includes examples such as Robert Wricht of Shropshire in 1274 and Thomas le Wrighte of Derbyshire in 1327, whilst Richard Wrightson was a christening witness at the church of St. Lawrence Jewry in the ancient city of London, on May 29th 1552. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Wryghtson. This was dated 1379, in the original Poll Tax register for the county of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11nd of England, 1377 - 1399. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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