The surname of WISE was a nickname 'the learned, the wise and clever man' one of sound judgement in matters relating to life. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans.Early records of the name mention Elias le Wyse, County Oxford, 1273. William le Wyse was documented in County Huntingdonshire during the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) Thomas le Wys of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Stephen Dring and Patience Wyse were married in Canterbury, Kent in the year 1668. The name is also spelt Wyse. The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monasteries, gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries a need was felt for an additional name. This was recognized by those of gentle birth, who realised that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The name was taken to Scotland by early settlers and William Wys was the cannon of Moray in 1358. Thomas Wyse appears in Caithness in the year 1381, and Johannes Wyss appears on an inquest in Stirling in the year 1411. William Wyeis was a member of the council of Stirling in the year 1522.
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