The surname of WESSON was a locational name 'one who lived to the west of the village or town'. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name was derived from the Old English WESTAN-TUN. Early records of the name mention Godwinus de Westuna, listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Adestan de Westuna, was documented in the year 1086, in county Cornwall. Johannes Westryn of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Samuel Western and Anna Maria Finch, were married in London in the year 1690. James Dolliffe and Anne Western were married at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in the year 1735. Joseph Westron and Martha Palmer were married at the same church in the year 1749. There are places of the name in Lanarkshire and a Weston near Dolphinston, Peebleshire. The earliest of the name on record in Scotland is William de Westone, 1296. John of Westone was a juror on an inquisition at Peebles in the year 1304 and William Westone was in the King of England's service in France in 1369. Thomas Westoun forfeited his lands in the reign of David II. Thomas Westoun rendered to the Exchequer the accounts of the burgh of Selkirk in the year 1566. The name is also spelt WESTERN and WESTEN. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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