Recorded in many forms including Wilderspoon, Witherspoon, Witherspon, Widderspoon, Wildespin, and Wotherspoon, this is an English surname. It has been recorded in the north of England since at least the time of King Edward 1st (1272 - 1307, when it appears in the Hundred Rolls of trhe county of Nottinghamshire in the first year of his reign. This recording shows that Adam Wytherpyn held lands in that county, whilst in the same year Adam Wyerpin is also recorded a hundred miles away, a long distance in those times, in the county of Norfolk. The name however seems to have been most popular in the county of Yorkshire where it appears several times in the famous Poll Tax registers of the year 1379. This includes examples such as Willelmus Wytherspone and Johannes Withspone. The famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley writng in the year 1880 says ' I can make nothing of this name, and I leave it to the consideration of more enlightened students'. Sadly 'more enlightened students' have been few and far between, and even now no definitive answer as to the origin has been provided. Our suggestion is that it may be job descriptive for a maker of steel pins, but it may equally have originated from a now lost medieval place perhaps called 'wir pont' or similar, meaning the lake on the marsh land. .

Surnames reference. 2013.

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