Sometimes history does funny things to a name, and 'Wiffill' is a good example. The name is locational and originally comes from the Hamlet of Wigfall in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The local dialect changed the sounding to 'Wiffill' or 'Wuffill' in the same way that 'Thirsk' became 'Tresk' and Slaithwaite - 'Sloughit'. The original meaning of the name is believed to be 'the battle field' from Olde English 'wig' and 'fall' meaning 'an enclosure in the forest'. In the modern idiom the name is spelt Wigfall, Wigful and Wiffil, and all originate in Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Wigfall, which was dated 1379 The Yorkshire Poll Tax Records during the reign of King Richard 11 Richard of Bordeaux 1378-1400 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.