The surname of WELLINGTON was a locational name 'of Wellington' parishes in counties Hereford, Salop and Somerset. Local names usually denoted where the original bearer of the name held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name in Old English was WEOLINGATUN meaning the dweller at the settlement in the wood-clearing. Early records of the name mention Robert de Welinton who was recorded in the year 1273 in County Salop. Johannes de Welinton of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Prior to the Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066, no one had surnames, only christian or nicknames in England. Based on this, and our physical attributes, we were given surnames incorporating tax codes to show trades, areas in which we lived, as today we have street names and numbers. Surnames were used in France and like speaking countries from about the year 1000, and a few places had second names even earlier. Even early monarchs had additions to show attributes and character, for example Ethelred (red-hair) the Unready (never prepared) and Edward I was named 'Long shanks' because of his long legs. Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of WELLINGTON, born in 1769 was known as the 'Iron Duke'. He was an Irish soldier and statesman, brother of Richard Wellesley, born in Dublin. He led the British forces in the Peninsular War, defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815, and was Prime Minister from 1828 until 1830. He died in 1852. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered in Co. Brecon.
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