- This famous name is of mainly Anglo-Saxon origin, deriving from the medieval male personal name found as Wiot, Wyot and Gyot, developed from the Olde English pre 7th Century given name "Wigheard", composed of the elements "wig", war, with "heard", hardy, brave, strong. After the Norman Conquest of 1066, and the subsequent introduction of Norman forms of the Old French personal names William (from the Germanic "wil", will, desire, with "helm", helmet, protection), and Guy or Why, Wi, (from the Germanic "wido", wood or wide), the existing English names were also frequently used as diminutive forms of the Norman names. Early recordings of the personal names include Wiot de Acham (1192, Lincolnshire), Gwiot (1203, Gloucestershire) and Wyet (1219, Yorkshire). The surname development since 1274 (see below) includes: Robert Wiot (1279, Bedfordshire); Thomas Guyot (1295, Essex); and Elias Wyete (1296, Sussex). Sir Thomas Wyatt (1502 - 1542), had various diplomatic posts in the service of Henry V111, and was an accomplished poet. His great-grandson, Sir Francis Wyatt, became the first Royal Governor of Virginia in 1624. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Wyot, which was dated 1274, in the "Hundred Rolls of Shropshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.
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