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Whitbourne Coat of Arms / Whitbourne Family Crest

The surname of WHITBOURNE was a locational name 'of Whitbourne' a parish in County Hereford, six miles from Bromyard. HWITEBERNE (without surname) who was recorded in Durham in the year 1190 appears to be the first of the name on record. Godric Wytebern was recorded in the year 1303. Early records of the name mention Thomas de Wytebourne, County Somerset, who was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Thomas Whitbourne of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name. Later instances of the name mention Francis Whitburn and Sarah Mildred who were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1794. John Whitburn and Catherine Earl were married in the same church in 1796. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. Local names find their origins in the villages, towns and areas where people were born, or from the land they owned. In the Middle Ages, a man was identified by his place of birth and almost every city, town and village existing in medieval times has originated one or more family names. Anyone leaving his birthplace would be known to new friends and neighbours by the name of his former residence, his birthplace, or the land he owned.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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