The surname of WOOTEN was a locational name 'of Wootton' a parish in County Bedford, a parish in Berkshire near Abingdon, and parishes in Kent, Lincoln and Staffordshire. The name was derived from the Old English word WUDUTUN, and literally meant the dweller in, or by the wood or forest. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Almost every city, town or village existing in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. Where a man lived was his means of identification. When a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known, and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or birthplace, or by the name of the land which he owned. Early records of the name mention OTONE (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. WUDUTONE (without surname) was documented in the year 1197 in County Bedfordshire. Robert de Wottone, was recorded in 1273 County Devon. John atte Wodeton of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John de Wodeton of County Essex, registered at Oxford University in 1750. George Wootten married Elizabeth Bagshaw, in 1667, Canterbury, Kent. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards.
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