Recorded as Walbrook, Wallbrook, Welbrock, Welbrook, Wellbrook, Wellbroucq, Woolbrooke, and possibly others, this is a very rare surname. Most name holders are probably of English origins, but for some the name may well be Flemish, as the surviving records suggest an early alternative spelling of Welbroucq and later Welbreck or Welbrock. If English it probably originates from the 'lost' medieval village of Wallbrook in the county of Staffordshire, or Woolbrook, a hamlet in East Devon. The surname whether English or Flemish is almost certainly residential and probably derives from the pre 7th century Germanic or Anglo-Saxon 'waella broc' translating as 'The spring by the brook'. This latter word originally described a lake or standing water, and only much later came to have the modern meaning of a stream. Residential surnames are usually 'from' names. After a person left their original homes to move somewhere else, they were often identified by calling them by the name of the the place from whence they came. Local dialects being very thick and spelling at best erratic, often lead to the creation of 'sounds like' forms. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving church registers include Henricus Woolbrooke at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on June 2nd 1606, Jenne Wellbroucq at the Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street, in the city of London, on October 15th 1640, Edward Wallbrook whose son John was christened at Greenwich on May 17th 1690, and Johann Welbrock who married Harrriet Biner at St Thomas Stepney, on December 24th 1848.
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