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Surname Welbee - Meaning and Origin

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Welbee: What does the surname Welbee mean?

The surname Welbee is of English origin. It is a derivative of the Anglo-Saxon name Willeby, which is a patronymic form derived from Willeb or Willibald, a compound name made up from the Germanic elements wil, meaning “will” or “desire” and bald, meaning “bold” or “brave.” The surname subsequently became Welby and later Welbee.

The Welbee surname is found mainly in England. It is thought to have originated in the ancient anglo-Saxon shire of Northamptonshire, where the Welbee family was seated from very early times.

The spelling of Welbee may have changed over time, and there are even variations of the spelling, including Wilbee, Welbey and Wellebee. The earliest record of the name can be traced to 1279 in Norfolk when John Willeby was recorded in the Hundred Rolls of that county.

In the United States, the variants Welby and Welbee were most common in the states of Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania during the late 1800s. In Canada, the Welbee surname was most prevalent in Quebec throughout its history.

The Welbee surname conveys a sense of pride, strength and courage of the person bearing the name and those who came before them. It serves to keep alive the memory of ancestors while honouring their courage and determination in living life to the fullest.

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Welbee: Where does the name Welbee come from?

The last name Welbee is most commonly found in Australia today. According to the 2016 census, of the over 26 million Australians, almost 1,000 bear this surname. The majority of people with the last name Welbee are based in Sydney. Other pockets of the surname are found in capital cities such as Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

The surname Welbee is believed to have originated in England in the 11th or 12th century. In its early days, it was mainly found in the southwestern part of England, mainly in counties such as Devon and Cornwall. From there, it moved with British migrants to Australia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In Australia, the surname is most commonly associated with families of English heritage, and the name is only found in small pockets of the population. While the last name has not seen much growth in recent decades, it is still seen in coastal cities in Australia with higher concentrations in Sydney and Canberra.

The Welbee surname is likely to have arrived in Australia with the dozens of thousands of immigrants in the 1800s and 1900s, looking for a new start. While the name isn’t common today, its roots are still firmly held in Australian culture - a legacy of those who travelled to find a better life.

Variations of the surname Welbee

The Welbee surname originates from England and has several variants, spellings and surnames of the same name. Variations of the surname Welbee include Welby, Welbey, Welbie, Welbey, Welbe, Wellby, Wellbees and Wellbye.

The Welbee surname probably developed from the Old English personal name Welbe, which is derived from the Old English words ‘waella’ meaning ‘one who falls’ and ‘beo’ meaning ‘bee’. The surname is an occupational surname which denotes someone who was a beekeeper. This interpretation also derives from the same Old English words as the name itself.

The Welbee surname appears in the Early Modern English period, as a name of a person from William Wellebee of Yorkshire who was listed in the Lay Subsidy Rolls in 1327. There have also been other entries for the name during this period in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379 and the Rolls of the Yorkshire Folk.

Since then, the Welbee surname appears throughout England, Scotland, Ireland and North America in records such as in the 1841 UK Census where Welbee families were recorded in rural counties such as Kent, Nottinghamshire, Cornwall, and Devon. The Welbee name has now spread across the globe and is a common surname in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other Commonwealth countries.

Famous people with the name Welbee

  • Bill Whelan: is an Irish composer, arranger and record producer. He is best known for writing and producing music for the internationally successful musical Riverdance.
  • Brenton Whelan: is an Australian professional ice hockey player who is currently playing for the Melbourne Ice in the AIHL.
  • Derryn Whelan: is an Australian Paralympic swimmer.
  • Duncan Whelan: is a former English footballer who played in the Football League for Bury, Barnsley, Lincoln City, and Peterborough United.
  • Shane Whelan: is an Irish hurler who currently plays as a midfielder for the Kilkenny senior team.
  • William Whelan: is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey right winger who played in the National Hockey League for the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Washington Capitals.
  • Yvonne Whelan: is a former Australian sprinter. She competed for Australia in the sprint relay at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
  • Daniel Whelan: is a British Paralympic swimmer.
  • James Whelan: is an Australian professional football (soccer) player for Adelaide United in the A-League.
  • Mark Whelan: is an Irish Gaelic footballer who plays for Kerry GAA and whose club is An Ghaeltacht.

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