The surname of WHITEFOOT was a locational name from the lands of Whitefoord on the river Cart about three miles above Paisley, Renfrewshire. The first of the Whitefoots of that Ilk is said to have obtained lands by grant from the High Steward for his services at the battle of Largs in 1263, but like all such traditionary statements, it is very questionable. A Walter Whitefoot, however witnessed a charter by Alexander III in that year. In 1296, a writ was directed to the sheriff of Lanarkshire. Scottish surnames fall into two quite distinct groups; those of Gaelic origin and those of English origin. The Gaelic language was brought to Scotland from Ireland around the 5th century AD, displacing the British language (an early form of Welsh) previously spoken there as well as elsewhere. Gaelic was the main language of that part of Scotland not subject to English influence, a rather more extensive area than the present day Highlands and Islands, where Gaelic is still spoken in places. It is from these northwestern and western area of Scotland that surnames of Gaelic origin, now almost universally Anglicized in form, have been disseminated around the world.
Later instances of the name include Johannes Quhhitefurd, who was accused of burning the town of Dunbertaine in 1489, and Robert de Qunitfort was elected abbot there in 1491. John Whytfoot is mentioned in the Will of Egidia Blair in 1530. This surname has numerous variant spellings which include Whitefoort, Whitefot, Quhitefuird, Quhitfurde, Qhueitfoot, and Whytfoot. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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