Wilburne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Wilburne arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Wilburne 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 Wilburne family

The surname Wilburne 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 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. [4] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had one entry for the family, that of Hugh de Welleburn, Lincolnshire. [5]

Early History of the Wilburne family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wilburne 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 Wilburne History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wilburne Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Welborne, Welborn, Welbourne, Welburn and others.

Early Notables of the Wilburne 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 Wilburne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Wilburne family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Wilburne 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)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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