Whilbourne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 added many new elements to an already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Whilbourne family lived in Lincolnshire. Their name is derived from the Old English word welle, meaning well, and the Old Norse word brunnr, meaning stream or spring, and indicates that the original bearer lived near a well by a stream or spring. [1]

The Domesday Book of 1086 has three listings: Welborne (Walebruna), Norfolk; Welbourne (Wellebrune), Lincolnshire; and Welburn (Wellebrune), North Yorkshire. [2]

Early Origins of the Whilbourne family

The surname Whilbourne was first found in Lincolnshire where they were Lords of the manor of Welbourn and conjecturally descended from a Norman noble, Robert Malet, who was granted the church and mill by King William the Conqueror in 1066. The ancestry of Robert goes back to Graville near Havre in Normandy in 990, where he was descended from Algar, the seventh Earl of Mercia. [3]

Early History of the Whilbourne family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whilbourne research. Another 42 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1605, 1929, 1640, 1702, 1699 and 1702 are included under the topic Early Whilbourne History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Whilbourne Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval 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. The name has been spelled Welborne, Welborn, Welbourne, Welburn and others.

Early Notables of the Whilbourne family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Welbourne (Welbourn) (executed at York, 1 August 1605), an English Roman Catholic teacher; Catholic martyr, beatified in 1929. Thomas Wellborn (also: Welbourn, Welbourne, Wellbourne), (1640-1702), served as...
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whilbourne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Whilbourne family

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Whilbourne or a variant listed above: Sam, Mathew, and Robert Welbourne settled in Virginia in 1652.



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)


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