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Wheele Coat of Arms / Wheele Family Crest

WHEELE was an occupational name, a wheelright - a maker of cart-wheels, a familiar entry in medieval records. The name was derived from the Old English word Wealere. Early records of the name mention High le Welere, County Cambridge, 1273. Richard le Wherlere, ibid. Robert le Whelere of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Gilber Wheeler, of County Worcestershire registered at Oxford University in 1593. Thomas Wheeler and Judith Hilliard were married at St. Mary, Aldermary, London in the year 1691. A notable member of the name was Sir Robert Eric Mortimer Wheeler (1890-1976) the English archaeologist, born in Glasgow. He was educated at Bradford and London, and became director of the National Museum of Wales in 1920, and keeper of the London Museum in London between 1926-1944. He carried out notable excavations in Britain at Verulamium (St. Albans). He was knighted in 1952, and wrote several books on archaeology. Sir Charles Wheeler (1892-1974) was the English sculptor, born in Staffordshire. He is noted for his decorative sculptures on monuments and buildings. The name Wheeler is particularly common on the Isle of Wight; on the mainland it is concentrated in the neighbouring regions of central south England. It is fairly evenly distributed over the rest of south England, but much less common in the north. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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