The English surname Wiles is an occupational name for a trapper or hunter, in particular someone who caught fish, especially eels, by setting up wicker traps in rivers and estuaries. The name is derived from the Middle English term wile meaning “trap, or snare.” The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Wilys in the Poll Tax Rolls of Staffordshire in 1327. The name is first recorded in the New World in 1607 when Bishop Wiles came to Virginia. Today there are approximately 14,000 bearers of the name Wiles living in the US.
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