This surname WEYANDT was for several centuries settled in the neighbourhood of Lancashire. It was derived from the Old English word 'waithman' an occupational name 'one who hunted and fished'. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. The name has numerous variant spellings which include WYMANN, WEYMAN, WEYMONT, WAYMAN, WYMAN and WHAMOND. Early records of the name mention Richard Waitheman, 1566, listed in the Wills at Lancashire. James Waythman was the chantry priest at Cheadle, County Cheshire in the year 1625. Richard Waithman and Jane Law were married at Ulsterston Church, Cheshire in 1777. 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. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.
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