Recorded in several spellings including Wellan, Wellen, Wellin, Welling, this is an English surname. It is locational and probably from the the village of Welling in the county of Kent, and situated between the parishes of Bexley and East Wickham. This placename translates as 'The place of the Woelingas', an Olde English tribe so called from pre 7th century words 'weoh', meaning a pagan temple, with 'ing', meaning the 'people of'. Locational surnames were usually 'from' names. That is to say surnames given to people after they left their original village to move somewhere esle. Spelling over the centuries being at best indifferent, and local dialects very thick, soon lead to the creation of 'sounds like' spellings. In this case early examples of the surname recordings in the county of Kent alone has included Isabell Wyllinge in 1558, Ann Wellen in 1637, Elizabeth Wellin in 1678, and Thomas Wellon in 1770. The christening of William, the son of William and Margaret Wellan, was recorded at St. Mary-le-Bone, in the city of London, on the 26th February 1772. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Wellynge. This was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of King Edward Ist of England, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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