Show ContentsWelsby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change to the island nation, including many immigrants with new names. Among these immigrants were the ancestors of the Welsby family, who lived in Lincolnshire, in the parish of Welby.

Early Origins of the Welsby family

The surname Welsby was first found in Lincolnshire at Welby, a village and civil parish in the South Kesteven district, historically in the union of Grantham, wapentake of Aswardhurn. The place name was first listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 at Wellebi [1] and literally meant "farmstead or village by a spring or stream," from the Old English word "wella" + the Old Scandinavian word "by." [2]

A far as the surname is concerned, while there is no doubt the family came from this local, there is question about the original progenitor. One reference cites that John, the Lord of Castleton, around the time of William Conqueror's invasion of England in 1066 A.D. and another cites Sir Thomas Welby, who held the manor of Frieston with Poynton Hall c. 1216. [3]

Sir William Welby was also listed as possessing property between 1307 and 1327. He married the heiress of Multon of Multon and that became the principal family seat until the end of the 16th century. [3]

Robert Waldby (d. 1398) was an English divine, Archbishop of York and claims descent from Waldby, near Hull. "John Waldby (d. 1393?), was English provincial of the Austin friars, and wrote a number of expository works still preserved in manuscript in the Bodleian and other libraries, is said to have been a brother of Robert Waldby. " [4]

Early History of the Welsby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Welsby research. Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1216, 1307, 1573, 1397, 1471, 1492, 1561, 1574, 1638, 1572, 1573, 1636, 1570, 1592 and 1801 are included under the topic Early Welsby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Welsby Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Welbey, Welby, Welbie, Welbye and others.

Early Notables of the Welsby family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was several who were Sherriffs of Lincolnshire, beginning with Roger Welby in 1397; followed by Richard Welby in 1471, Thomas Welby in 1492, and Richard Welby in 1561. John Wilbye (c.1574-1638), was an English madrigal composer and "probably a native of the eastern counties, where the name was common. A John, son of John Wilbye or Milbye, was baptised in St. Mary's, Bury St. Edmunds, 15 Jan. 1572-1573; and another John, son of Thomas Wilbye, on 27 Sept. " [4] Henry Welby (d. 1636), was the English author of 'The Phoenix of these late Times,'...
Another 105 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Welsby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Welsby family to Ireland

Some of the Welsby family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Australia Welsby migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Welsby Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Welsby, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. James Welsby, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 8th December 1839, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Samuel Welsby, English convict who was convicted in Bolton, Lancashire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 28th March 1848, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) from Bermuda [7]
  • Rachel Welsby, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1849 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Welsby (post 1700) +

  • William Newland Welsby (1802-1864), English legal writer, born in Cheshire about 1802, the only son of William Welsby of the Middle Temple, gentleman [9]

The Welsby Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Sorte contentus
Motto Translation: Content with one’s lot.

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1828 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th September 2020). Retrieved from
  8. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NAVARINO 1849. Retrieved from
  9. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 Jan. 2019 on Facebook