Devon at the time of the Domesday in 1086
Since so many of our Wheaton/Wheadons etc. harken from Devon I thought perhaps you might like a snapshot of Devon at the time of the Domesday Book about the year 1086. Yes a long time ago.
Approximately 9-10,000 farms of which approximately 8,500 were small outliers worked by “villeins” (bonded peasants)
About 1200 Manor houses
Population ranged from 10-15 per square mile around Exon (Exeter) and Berry Pomery near Totnes) to the sparsely occupied areas of Dartmoor with 2 or less per square mile. The vast majority was in the 5-10 persons per square mile category.
Total population was about 7,000 with Exon having about 1500 of that total.
This would be before the advent of surnames. It does not take much to imagine how manors, farms and occupations would be a source of surnames when they became more prevalent in the 13th and 14th centuries.