The surname of WILDERS has the associated arms recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. (Granted Nunhide and Purley Hall and Sulham, County Berkshire, during the reign of Henry VII - 1485-1509. The name was derived from the Old English WILDEOR - probably a hunter of wild animals. Occupational surnames refer directly to the particular trade or occupation followed by the first bearer of the name. These occupations can be divided into classes such as agricultural, manufacturing, retailing and so on. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today. Smiths, millers and wrights were indeed specialists, but even they would normally have their own smallholdings for growing crops and keeping a few animals. Others were simply designated as the servant of some person of a higher social status, as a maid or parson. The name was occasionally used as a locational name for one who lived on the uncultivated land. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land. Early records of the name mention William Wyldere of the County of Surrey and Derbyshire in 1327. William Wilde appears in County Lancashire in 1350, and Thomas Wilder of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. The name has various spellings which include Wild, Whilder, Wildman and Wild. Of this family name was Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) who was descended from Ralph Wilde, a builder from Walsingham near Durham, who had moved to Ireland in the 17th century.
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