This is one of the older locational names. It is of West Saxon origins and is a developed form of the term 'weald' meaning one who resides at or in the forest or woodlands, or was a former inhabitant of the various places called Wold, Weald, Wield and 'old', the latter being a Northamptonshire village. The developed surname form includes Weld or Welde as in 'John at the Welde' (1121) Suffolk, Gilbert del Wald, 1206, the Kings Rolls for Berkshire, Hugh in the Wold, the Hundred Rolls for Oxford in 1279, Thomas de la Waude (1279) The Hundred Rolls of Berkshire, Richard of ye Wolde (1327), Suffolk Pipe Rolls, whilst amongst the 'modern' recording was William Waud of Fewston, Yorkshire christened on December 21st 1628. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Weld, which was dated 1275, The Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King Edward I, 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.