The surname of WELSBY is a variant of Wellesby and Welby. The name was a locational name ' the dweller by the holy well ' from residence nearby. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention Richard de Wellebie who was documented in the year 1273 in County Lincolnshire. Richard de Welbe of County Middlesex, was documented during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). William Walsbie of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. A later instance of the name mentions Thomas Welbie (gent) who registered at Oxford University in the year 1574. 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 flowing and draped garment worn over the armour.
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