This very famous surname is English locational and derives from one of the towns called Wellington, of which examples can be found in the counties of Somerset, Hereford and Shropshire. The origin is from the Olde English pre 7th century 'Weolintun' recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles for the year 904, and refering to the Somerset town. In fact all three places are recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book, and in each case the meaning is the same. This is 'the people (ingas) living in hamlet (tun) in the cleared area (leah) by the temple (Weo)', although it is possible that the prefix 'Weol' is a personal tribal name. Early examples of the surname recording include Johannes de Welinton of Devon , and William de Welynton of Somerset in the same Hundred Rolls of 1273. Later in 1581 James Wellington of Hereford is recorded as being a student at Oxford University, whilst in 1661 James Wellington married Elizabeth Marriott at St James Church, Clerkenwell, London. The famous 'Iron Duke' (1769 - 1852) derived his title from Wellington in Somerset. His family name was Wellesley a name which means much the same 'The Dweller by the Spring at the Farm', and is also of Somerset origins, however he was born in Ireland! The Coat of Arms has the blazon of Quarterly 1st and 4th, red, a silver cross between five plates in saltire, 2nd and 3rd, gold, a red lion rampant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Welinton which was dated 1273, The Hundred Rolls of Shropshire during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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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