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Whalebelly Coat of Arms / Whalebelly Family Crest

This English surname of WHALEBELLY is of two distinct origins. It was a locational name for a dweller in or near a field or meadow in south-east England. It was also a nickname for a large, ungainly person. The name is also spelt WALBURY, WALEBERRY and WHALEBONE. The earliest of the name on record appears to be WALBI (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086, and Peter de WALABI was recorded in 1193 in the East Riding of Yorkshire. William de WHALBELLI was documented in County Cumberland in the year 1332. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. Later records of the name mention George WHALEBONE, coach painter, who was recorded in Longon in 1870, and Robert WHALEBELLY, who married Sarah Toney, in County Norfolk in the year 1875. 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 lion depicted in the crest is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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