Recorded in several spelling forms including Widdowes, Widdows, Widdowson and Widdison, this is a surname of Olde English and sometimes Scottish, pre 7th century origins. To name researchers it is a very important name as it maybe one of the rare examples of a matronic surname, that is to say one derived from the mother, rather than the father. The name development appears to have occured spontaneously in many parts of England at the begining of the 14th century, and this may be as a result of the plague which was very virulent in that period. The name development has included, John la Wydewsone of Essex in 1326, and William le Wydusone of Stafford in 1332. The word 'widowe' is an Olde English word, the first recording as a surname being Alice Wedue of Cambridge in 1279. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Wydusone which was dated 1309, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Bedfordshire. This was during the reign of King Edward II of England, known as "Edward of Caernafon" where he was born. He reigned from 1307 to 1327, when he was dethroned and murdered. 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.