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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Wilbur family come from? What is the English Wilbur family crest and coat of arms? When did the Wilbur family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Wilbur family history?


Spelling variations of this family name include: Wilbur, Willbur, Wilbeorht, Wylbert, Wilbert and others.

First found in Huntingdonshire, where the name appeared in the 13th century. The name Wilbur, like many surnames, comes from a personal name, in this case the Old English name Wilbeorht, which meant "will-bright." The personal version of the name was uncommon, even in its early days and had faded into near non-existence by the time the surname first appeared. Though the personal name did not appear in any records beyond the 11th century, it must have still been in use, probably by peasants, since the Wilbur name no doubt originates from it.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wilbur research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1279, 1595, 1656, 1622 and 1678 are included under the topic Early Wilbur History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 91 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wilbur Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wilbur Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Samuel Wilbur, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1633

Wilbur Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • R B Wilbur, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • M Wilbur, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

Wilbur Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • David Wilbur, who came to Nova Scotia in 1760
  • David Wilbur, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760


  • Claire "Catt" Wilbur (1933-2004), American actress of stage and screen and Academy Award winning producer
  • Crane Wilbur (1886-1973), American writer, actor and director, best remembered for playing Harry Marvin in The Perils of Pauline (1914)
  • Curtis Dwight Wilbur (1867-1954), American 43rd Secretary of the Navy
  • Colonel William Hale Wilbur (1888-1979), American officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1942
  • Richard Purdy Wilbur (b. 1921), American Poetry Laureate and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, 1957 and 1989
  • Ray Lyman Wilbur (1875-1949), American medical doctor, 3rd President of Stanford University, 31st United States Secretary of the Interior
  • James Edward Wilbur (1898-1970), British bandleader of the Jay Wilbur and His Band which performed for Allied military service members during World War II
  • Dr. Ronnie Wilbur, Professor of Linguistics
  • Shawn P Wilbur, writer and literary reviewer


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  1. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  2. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  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).
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  6. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  9. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  11. ...

The Wilbur Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wilbur 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 29 May 2015 at 11:59.

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