Whillbourn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Whillbourn is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Whillbourn 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. 
The Domesday Book of 1086 has three listings: Welborne (Walebruna), Norfolk; Welbourne (Wellebrune), Lincolnshire; and Welburn (Wellebrune), North Yorkshire. 
Early Origins of the Whillbourn family
The surname Whillbourn 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. 
Early rolls gave a glimpse at the various spellings in use over the years: Walebrun was recorded in Lincolnshire c. 1155; Robert Walebrun was registered in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296; and John Walebron was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1327.  The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had one entry for the family, that of Hugh de Welleburn, Lincolnshire. 
Early History of the Whillbourn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whillbourn research. Another 42 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1605, 1929, 1640, 1702, 1699, 1702 and 1697 are included under the topic Early Whillbourn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Whillbourn Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Welborne, Welborn, Welbourne, Welburn and others.
Early Notables of the Whillbourn 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 Captain in the King's Militia, and...
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whillbourn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Whillbourn family
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Whillbourn or a variant listed above: Sam, Mathew, and Robert Welbourne settled in Virginia in 1652.
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- 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)
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)