This surname of WIDGER belonged to the relationship group of surnames meaning 'the son of WIHTGAR' an Anglo-Saxon personal name meaning 'elf-spear'. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and the earliest of the name on record appears to be WISGAR (without surname) who was listed in the Domesday Book in 1086. Ordic WIHGAR was documented in Bury, County Suffolk in the year 1095. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. A later instance of the name mentions Adam WYDGER who was recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of 1327, and Edric WIDGER of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.
In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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