From the jowest.net website:
"From the Wiswall Family Genealogical Handbook, 1987, by Joseph Michael Wiswall; A great battle was fought on 2 April 1798 near Whalley, Lancashire, England between the soldiers of King Eardwulf and those of Duke Wada. As a result of some noteworthy incident of that battle, a fresh-water spring located a little more than a mile from the ancient abbey of St. Mary, northwest of Whalley, was given the Saxon name 'Wigarwealla' (hero's walled well), known even today as 'Wiga's Well'. Over the next several centuries the area around Wiga's Well between Whalley and Pendleton to the north, gradually, through the influence of invader's French and official Latin, became known as 'Wiswall'.
The first use of Wiswall as a family name, rather than a place name, is in the charter of the vill (township) of Wiswall dating to the reign of Richard I, 'the lion-hearted' circa 1194. This charter is attested to by Swaine, son of Leofwine, and Henry, son of Swaine de Wiswall. Leofwine is anglo-saxon for 'dear friend' and became a popular name in the north of England because of the bravery of Leofwine of Durham, a monk who, in August of 1104, proved the incorruptibility of the body of St. Cuthbert. Since all living adult members of a family would sign a document as important as this charter and Leofwine did not sign it, his prior death must be assumed. Since his adult grandson Henry did sign it, by working backwards it can be assumed that Leofwine was born circa 1125, at a time when his given name was popular where he was born. Swaine is also an old Saxon name meaning 'good man', thus establishing the facts that the Wiswall family is derived from Saxon stock and the family name dates from the twelfth century, which is just about the time that people began to use family names."
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