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Surname Weller - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'W'

Weller: What does the surname Weller mean?

The surname Weller is of Anglo-Saxon origin and derived from the pre 7th century Old English word "wella" which means 'a spring' or 'stream'. Thus, it was primarily given as an occupational surname to people who lived or worked near a spring or stream. This topographic surname highlighted a conspicuous feature of the bearer's residence. The surname first appeared in ancient medieval records in various counties of England. The earliest known instance of the name is probably that of Johanna Ate Welle, which was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk. In the modern era, it has many variations such as Wellar, Weller(s), Wells, Wheler and others. Like many surnames that began as occupational or locational identifiers, it doesn't necessarily denote the occupation of the bearer in contemporary times.

Weller: Where does the name Weller come from?

The surname Weller is of English origin. It first originated from pre 7th century Old English as an occupational surname "wella", which was given to individuals who worked as a water seller or well keeper, or someone who lived near a well or a spring.

The surname Weller, like many English surnames, started appearing in records during the Middle Ages and became increasingly common after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The earliest recorded spelling of the surname was found in the ancient charters of England, specifically in the Middlesex Curia Rolls of 1219 during the reign of King Henry III, as Alicia la Welleghere.

Today, the surname Weller is prevalent in English-speaking countries. In the United States it is particularly common in the Midwest and on the Eastern seaboard. In the United Kingdom, it is common in the South-Eastern region, notably in towns such as Essex. However, it can be found throughout the country due to migration patterns over the centuries. The name also has presence in other countries such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Variations of the surname Weller

The surname Weller is of Germanic origin, specifically from a German occupational name for a weaver or a ploughman. The name is derived from the Middle High German term "wellaere," which means "weaver."

This surname has several variations and spellings due to regional dialects, immigration, and translation. Some common variants of the Weller surname include Wellers, Wellar, Weler, and Wheller. The spellings can also change slightly based on whether the name's bearers originated from different parts of Germany, like Bavaria or Prussia.

For example, spellings can frequently be found as Wehler, Wahler, or Weiler in some regions. Variations might also include compound surnames, such as Weller-Smith.

The surname Weller might at times be confused with or misspelled as similar-sounding surnames of different origins, such as Wheeler or Waller.

There are also cognates of Weller in other languages, which essentially have the same meaning but are adapted to the phonetics and orthography of the respective language. These include the English Weaver, the Dutch Wever, and the Danish and Norwegian Vevers.

Given the common occupation it stems from, it's not surprising that variations of the Weller surname can be found in many Western European cultures.

Famous people with the name Weller

  • Paul Weller: An English singer-songwriter and musician, famous for his work with the rock bands The Jam and The Style Council.
  • Peter Weller: An American film and stage actor, television director, and art historian, best known for his roles in films like 'Robocop', 'Leviathan' and 'The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension'.
  • Carl Maria von Weber-Weller: A German composer, conductor, pianist, guitarist, and critic, one of the first significant composers of the Romantic school.
  • Marybeth Weller: An American actress who has appeared in series like ‘ER’ and 'Ally McBeal'.
  • Frederick Weller: An American stage, film, and television actor, known for roles in 'In Plain Sight' and 'The Shape of Things'.
  • John Weller: The father of Paul Weller, who also served as his manager.
  • Albert von Keller-Weller: A Swiss-German painter considered one of the major representatives of symbolism and Art Nouveau.
  • Claudia Weller: A German writer and illustrator of children's literature.
  • Rudy Weller: A British sculptor known for his large scale public and civic works.
  • Frank Weller: An American former Olympic athlete famous in the 1960s.

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