The surname of WHITMEYER was a habitation name from any of various places, for example in Staffordshire, so called from the Old English 'hwit' (white) and 'mor' (moor). Local names usually denoted where the original bearer of the name held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. In some cases bearers of the name are apparently descended from John of Whytenmere of Shropshire, who lived in the 13th century. Other records of the name mention WITEMORE (without surname) who was documented in the Domesday Book of 1086. In 1066 Duke William of Normandy conquered England. He was crowned King, and most of the lands of the English nobility were soon granted to his followers. Domesday Book was compiled 20 years later. The Saxon Chronicle records that in 1085 'at Gloucester at midwinter, the King had deep speech with his counsellors, and sent men all over England to each shire to find out, what or how much each landowner held in land and livestock, and what it was worth. The returns were brought to him'. William was thorough. One of his Counsellors reports that he also sent a second set of Commissioners 'to shires they did not know and where they were themselves unknown, to check their predecessors' survey, and report culprits to the King'. The information was collected at Winchester, corrected, abridged, and copied by one single writer into a single volume. Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex were copied, by several writers into a second volume. The whole undertaking was completed at speed, in less than 12 months. The name is also spelt WHITMER, WITEMORE, WYTEMORE and WITMERE. A certain John de Witemore appears in 1199 in County Suffolk, and Adam de Whitemore was recorded in 1249 in Staffordshire. Gilbert de Whitemere was recorded in the year 1275 in County Surrey. Most of the European surnames 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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