The surname of WELBY was a locational name 'of Welby' a parish five miles from Grantham, County Lincolnshire. Also a chapelry in the parish of Melton Mowbray, County Leicester. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward 11. (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Early records of the name mention Richard de Wellebie, 1273 County Lincolnshire. Thomas Welbie of County Lincoln (gent) registered at Oxford University in the year 1574. Toby Welbe and Margaret Evans were married at Kensington Church, London in 1637. John Welby married Mary Ashley, St. George's Church, in 1791.
When the coast of England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century or so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day.
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