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


The illustrious surname Westerlage finds its origin in the rocky, sea swept coastal area of southwestern England known as Cornwall. Although surnames were fairly widespread in medieval England, people were originally known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames were adopted is extremely interesting. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Lords and their tenants often became known by the name of the feudal territory they owned or lived on. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People at the time that surnames first came into use. Local surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Westerlage is a local type of surname and the Westerlage family lived in Devon.Westerlage is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came. The name Westerlage indicates that the original bearer lived by the westernmost of a group of lakes.

Westerlage Early Origins



The surname Westerlage was first found in Devon where the place name, Westlake is still found today near Langbrook and Marjery Cross. Ironically, the place name is not near a lake. Today there are no fewer that seven places named Westlake in the United States, and one each in Australia and New Zealand.

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Westerlage Spelling Variations


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Westerlage Spelling Variations



Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and 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 of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Westlake, Westlock, Westloke, Weslake and others.

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Westerlage Early History


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Westerlage Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Westerlage research. Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 133 and 1333 are included under the topic Early Westerlage History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Westerlage Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Westerlage Early Notables (pre 1700)



More information is included under the topic Early Westerlage Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Westerlage: Phillip Westlake settled in Virginia in 1635; William Westlake settled in Maryland in 1775.

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Contemporary Notables of the name Westerlage (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Westerlage (post 1700)



  • John Westerlage, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for Texas State House of Representatives 148th District, 1992

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Westerlage Family Crest Products


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Westerlage Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    3. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
    4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    6. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
    7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
    8. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
    9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
    10. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
    11. ...

    The Westerlage Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Westerlage 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 4 November 2015 at 11:08.

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