Show ContentsWellie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Wellie is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Wellie family lived in Berkshire. Their name is derived from the Old English word welle, meaning well, and indicates the original bearer's residence near such a facility.

Early Origins of the Wellie family

The surname Wellie was first found in Berkshire where they held a family seat at Hungerford Park, a baronetcy granted by King Charles I. They are believed to be descended from Baron Welles, the Duke of Somerset, and the grandmother of Henry VII, a Norman Baron from Welles in Normandy who was granted Rockingham Castle but was beheaded. Not all of the family emigrated to England as Hugh and Robert de Wellis were listed in Normandy in 1198. Effric de Welles held the fief or Wellis, Normandy in 1180. 1

Johannes Willeson was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 2 and Walter filius Wille held lands in Dumfries in 1214. 3 Walter Willys was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire in 1327 and Roger Wyllys was found in Kent in 1438. Years later, Richard Willys was listed in the Feet of Fines of Essex in 1517. 4

Early History of the Wellie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wellie research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1207, 1214, 1279, 1576, 1590, 1614, 1621, 1642, 1643, 1645, 1656, 1659, 1660, 1664, 1665, 1666, 1675, 1690, 1701, 1734 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Wellie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wellie Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Willis, Wilis and others.

Early Notables of the Wellie family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Willis (1576-1656), a member of the English landed gentry and Clerk of the Crown in Chancery at the outbreak of the English Civil War, owing to which he suffered the loss of his position and some of his estates; George Wyllys or Wyllis (1590-1645), born at the manor of Fenny Compton in Warwickshire, an English-born, early American politician who served as the 4th Governor of the Connecticut Colony (1642-1643); Thomas Willis (1621-1675), an English doctor who played an important part...
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wellie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Wellie family to Ireland

Some of the Wellie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Wellie family

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Wellie or a variant listed above: William Willis settled in Quidividi, Newfoundland, in 1703; Josiah Willis settled in Kiers Cove, Labrador, in 1766; Anne Willis settled in Virginia in 1620.

  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X) on Facebook