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Welton Coat of Arms / Welton Family Crest

Welton Coat of Arms / Welton Family Crest

This surname of WELTON (also spelt as WELTON) is a locational name of three-fold origin. It was 'of WELTON' in Cumberland, from 'WELTON' in Somerset, or a small place of the name WELTON in Northumberland. The name was recorded in the Domesday Book as WELLETON, and literally meant the dweller at the spring or stream. The Norman Conquest in England in the year of 1066 revolutionized our personal nomenclature. The old English name system was gradually broken up and old English names became less common and were replaced by new names from the continent. Most of the early documents deal with the upper classes who realised that an additional name added prestige and practical advantage to their status. Names of peasants rarely occurred in medieval documents. In 1086 the compilation of the Domesday Book was ordered by William the Conqueror (1027-87), king of England from 1066. He was born in Falaise, the bastard son of Robert, Duke of Normandy, by Arlette, a tanner's daughter. On his father's death in 1035, the nobles accepted him as a duke. When Edward the Confessor, King of England died in 1066, William invaded England that Autumn, on 14th October, 1066 killing Harold (who had assumed the title of King). English government under William assumed a more feudal aspect, the King's tenants-in-chief and all title to land was derived from his grants, and the Domesday Book contains details of the land settlements, and the names of the owners of such. Other records of the placename include WELTEDEN which was recorded in 1242 and WELTON was recorded in Cumberland in 1354. Later instances of the name mention Basil Smith and Johanna WELTON (widow) who were married in London in 1638, and William WELTON and Elizabeth Sleet were wed at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1796. 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.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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