This most interesting and unusual name derives from two possible sources. Firstly, it may be an English metonymic occupational name given to a person who collected taxes or tributes, from the Anglo-Saxon word "gield", payment, tribute, tax. Alternatively the name may derive from the Anglo-Saxon "w(e)ald", and the old High German "wald", forest, a topographical name for "one who lived in or near a forest", or it may also have been a metonymic occupational name for one whose job was connected with wood, such as a woodcutter or lumber merchant. The surname from this source dates from the early 12th Century (see below). One Gilbert de Wald was recorded in the Curia Rolls of Berkshire in 1206. One Robert, son of Richard Yeelds was christened at North Petherton, Somerset on May 26th 1622. The earliest appearance of the name in London Church Registers is the christening of Mary Yeld at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster on March 31st 1695. Elizabeth Yeld married John Arden on April 30th 1695 at St. Marylebone, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Welde, which was dated circa 1121, Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 1st, "The Lion of Justice" 1100 - 1135. 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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