The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burke's General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered in County Somerset. This English surname of WENT was a locational name meaning 'the dweller at the went' a passage. Other spellings of the name include WEND, WENDE and WENTE. Habitation names were originally acquired by the original bearer of the name, who, having lived by, at or near a place, would then take that name as a form of identification for himself and his family. When people lived close to the soil as they did in the Middle Ages, they were acutely conscious of every local variation in landscape and countryside. Every field or plot of land was identified in normal conversation by a descriptive term. If a man lived on or near a hill or mountain, or by a river or stream, forests and trees, he might receive the word as a family name. Almost every town, city or village in early times, has served to name many families. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Henry de la WENTE, who was recorded in County Suffolk in the year 1273, and William atte WEND was the rector of Scoulton, County Norfolk in 1368. Hugo de WENT of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and John atte WEND was recorded in Great Ellingham, County Norfolk in 1381. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. Later instances of the name include Moses WENT, a youth that belonged to my Lord Bishop of London's house, who was buried at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1664, and William WENT married Sarah Brown at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1807.
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