Recorded as Welbank, Wellbank, and the dialectals Wellband, Wellbond, Willbond, and possibly others, this is a locational surname. It may be from a place called Wellbank near Broughty Ferry, in Scotland, or more likely, as the surname does not seem to be recorded in Scotland itself, from a now "lost" English medieval village. In either case the origination is almost certainly from the pre 7th century Olde English "waella banke" meaning the stream by the ridge or shore. It is always difficult to carry out an accurate research when dealing with a lost village name, since it cannot be guaranteed that the modern surname spelling bears any resemblance to the original form. It is estimated that at least three thousand surnames of the British Isles are proven to originate from such a source, so this may be another to add to the list. As it happens the surnames Welburn and Welbourne have exactly the same meaning, although they are not otherwise associated as far as we know. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers of the city of London include Miles Welbancke at St Martins in the Field, Westminster on March 31st 1662, Robert Willbond at St Sepulchre church, on January 8th 1755, and Thomas Wellband at St Giles Cripplegate on May 10th 1840.
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