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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

The lineage of the name Westby begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of when they lived in Westby, a small village in Lincolnshire. The name was also found in Lancashire and West Yorkshire. The place name Westby comes from the Old Norse words vestr, or "west," and býr, meaning "a settlement."


The surname Westby was first found in Lancashire. "The family assert a Saxon descent, and say that they were settled in the hundred of Amounderness, in that county, before the Conquest; but the first member of the family mentioned in the pedigree is Gilbert de Westby, sheriff of Lancashire in 1238." [1] We will not discount this reference's claim but wish to advise the reader that the Assize Rolls of Lincolnshire does list William de Westebi in 1219. [2] The Domesday Book of 1086 lists the pace name as Westbi. [3] The township of Medlar with Wesham in the parish of Kirkham was home to early members of the family. "On the dissolution of monasteries, the land seems to have been granted or sold to the family of Westby; in the reign of Philip and Mary, William Westbye held 'Medlarghe,' 'Wessham,' and other property in this quarter, and his descendants long continued to reside at Mowbrick Hall, now a farmhouse." [4]

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Westby has undergone many spelling variations, including Westby, Westerby, Westbee, Westbie and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Westby research. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1233 and 1233 are included under the topic Early Westby History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Westby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Westby family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 41 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Westby were among those contributors:

Westby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Barbara Westby, who arrived in Maryland in 1656
  • Edward Westby, who came to Virginia in 1664
  • Edward Westby, who landed in Virginia in 1664

Westby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Westby and family, who came to New York in 1830

Westby Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • James Westby, who was on record in the census of Ontario of 1871

Westby Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • William Westby, aged 21, a mason, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874


  • M. A. Westby, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 33rd District, 1901-02


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: Nec volenti nec volanti
Motto Translation: Neither wishing nor flying.


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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  3. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The Westby Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Westby Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 February 2016 at 16:02.

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