This unusual and interesting name is of French, Norman origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called 'Wissant' in the Pas-de-Calais in France. The original bearer of the name, as recorded below, came to England with the forces of William the Conqueror and was rewarded for his services with grants of land in East Anglia, where the name remains popular. There has been some confusion with the early medieval English topographical surname 'Whitsand', denoting residence 'by the white sand', as in the recording of Thomas de la Witesand, 1236, Surrey. The modern surname can be found as 'Wisson' and 'Whisson'. One John Wisson was christened at South Creake, Norfolk in August 1573, and Sarah Wisson married Joseph Barrell on the 23rd April 1818 at Great Cornard, Suffolk. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbert de Wissand, which was dated 1086, The Domesday Book, Suffolk, during the reign of King William I, The Conqueror, 1066 - 1087. 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.