Recorded as Weslake, but more usually Westlake, this is an English locational surname. It originates from either a now 'lost' medieval village of which the orly reminder in the 20th century is the surviving surname, or perhaps as a transposition of the village name of Westley in the county of Cambridge. 'Westley' means the farm (leah) to the west (of the main village), although given the fact that over the centuries spelling has been at best erratic, it may be that the original spelling was 'Westlac', meaning the west lake. The famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley writing in 1880 stated that he was unable to find the original site of the surname, and our efforts one hundred and twenty years later have been no more successful. It is known that over three thousand surnames of the British Isles do originate from now 'lost' villages, and this is seemingly one of them. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surving rolls, charters and registers of the late medieval period include: Raymond Westlake, a student at Oxford University in the year 1566, whilst in the registers of the city of London, Sarah Westlake married Richard Pery at St Georges Chapel, Hanover Square, in 1729, and Jane Weslake married John Nankivell at the same place in 1805.
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