Wethebay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Wethebay is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Wethebay family lived at Wetherby in West Yorkshire, a market town and civil parish within the metropolitan borough of the City of Leeds. "The Saxon name of this town, whence the present is obviously deduced, was Wederbi, a term intended to designate its situation on a bend of the river Wharfe." [1] Today in the United States, there are two towns listed: Weatherby, Missouri; and Weatherby Lake, Missouri

Early Origins of the Wethebay family

The surname Wethebay was first found in West Yorkshire where one of the first records was of Ivo de Werreby in 1214; and Richard de Wetherby in 1302. [2] Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Robertas de Wethirby as living there at that time. [3]

Conjecturally the Wetherby family are descended from Ralph of Intwood, who held the lands and village of Intwood from Eudo, Steward to William the Conqueror. Intwood consisted of a church, a mill, nine horses, and thirty sheep, as recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086. [4]

Wetherby is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Wedrebi, thought to derive from wether- or ram-farm or else meaning "settlement on the bend of a river". [5] Local folklore has it that when heavy snow storms hit the county, Wetherby does not get as much because the "Weather Goes By."

Early History of the Wethebay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wethebay research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 146 and 1461 are included under the topic Early Wethebay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wethebay Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Wetherby, Weatherby, Wetherbie, Wetherbee, Witherby and many more.

Early Notables of the Wethebay family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Wethebay family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, travelling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Wethebay or a variant listed above: John Witherby (or Wetherby) who settled in Sudbury, Massachusetts in 1630; John Wetherbee settled in New York in 1820; Bartholomew Wethersbie settled in Virginia in 1616.



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)


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