Willbourne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Willbourne is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Willbourne 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.

Early Origins of the Willbourne family

The surname Willbourne 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 History of the Willbourne family

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

Willbourne Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Willbourne are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Willbourne include Welborne, Welborn, Welbourne, Welburn and others.

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


United States Willbourne migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Willbourne, or a variant listed above:

Willbourne Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Willbourne, who landed in Virginia in 1636 [1]


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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