Woollborne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Woollborne family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They 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 Woollborne family

The surname Woollborne 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 Woollborne family

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

Woollborne Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Welborne, Welborn, Welbourne, Welburn and others.

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

Migration of the Woollborne family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Woollborne or a variant listed above were: 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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