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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2017


The Westlack history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Westlack history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Westlack family originally lived in Devon.Westlack 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 Westlack indicates that the original bearer lived by the westernmost of a group of lakes.

Westlack Early Origins



The surname Westlack 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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Westlack Spelling Variations


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Westlack 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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Westlack Early History


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Westlack Early History



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

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Westlack Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Westlack Early Notables (pre 1700)



More information is included under the topic Early Westlack 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



Early records show that people bearing the name Westlack arrived in North America quite early: Phillip Westlake settled in Virginia in 1635; William Westlake settled in Maryland in 1775.

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Westlack Family Crest Products


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Westlack 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. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
    2. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    3. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
    4. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
    5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
    7. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
    8. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
    9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
    10. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
    11. ...

    The Westlack Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Westlack 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 26 February 2013 at 16:13.

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