This famous locational surname is of Olde English pre 7th century origins. It derives from a place called originally 'Whit-halgh' which may have been in Lancashire, but could equally apply to the London 'Whitehall' or to other now lost locations of the same name. Quite why somewhere should be called 'White hall' is unclear, but it may refer to a house so painted, or possibly one built of light coloured stone or wood. A coat of arms was granted to the Whitehall's of Yeldersley, Derbyshire in the time of King Henry V1 1422 - 1461, and this has the blazon of a silver field, charged with a fess chequy black and red, between three helmets in black. Examples of the surname recording include Anne Whitehall, christened at St Giles Cripplegate, London, on May 29th 1599, and Dorothea, daughter of James Whitehall, christened at the church of St Mary Aldermary, on August 12th 1673. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbert del Whithalgh, which was dated 1397, a member of the Preston Guild, Lancashire, during the reign of King Richard 11, known as 'Richard of Bordeaux', 1377 - 1399. 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.