This surname of WEDELL is of the locational group of surnames meaning 'one who came from WEDHIL' an obscure and now obsolete spot. The name is also spelt WEDDEL, WEDDELL and WEDDLE. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Walter de WEDHULLE, who was recorded in County Wiltshire in the year 1273. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. Later instances of the name include John WEDDELL and Jane Jones, who were married in London in the year 1680, and George WEDDEL and Mary Gibson were wed at St. George's, Mayfair, London in 1745. William WEDDEL and Betty Windmill were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, in 1778. A notable member of the name was James WEDDELL (1787-1834) the English navigator, born in Ostend. In his principal voyage (1822-23) he penetrated to the point west in the part of Antarctica which later took his name (WEDDELL Sea; WEDDEL Quadrant) as did a type of seal taken by him in the area. In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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