This interesting surname, with variant spellings Qulch and Quelche, is a mid 16th Century variant of the name Wels(c)he, Welsh or Welch, itself deriving from the Middle English "walsche", Celtic, foreign, (Olde English "woelisc", a derivative of "wealh", foreign), and originally given as a distinguishing nickname to a Celt. The name is synonymous with the German "welsch", foreign, a word used to refer to the Romance-speaking peoples of southern Europe. Simon Welsche, entered in the 1279 Hundred Rolls of Bedfordshire, is the earliest recorded bearer of the name in England. One Roger Welch appears in the 1334 Court Rolls of the Borough of Colchester, Essex. On October 21st 1567, Edmunde, son of Thomas Quelche, was christened at Benson, Oxfordshire, and in 1586, Thomas Quelch and Jane Bettredg were married at Cuddesdon and Wheatley, Oxfordshire. Marie, daughter of Thomas Quelch and Judith Passe, was christened in the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street, London on July 21st 1622. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Marianne Quelch, which was dated 1566, christened at Benson, Oxfordshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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