This interesting and unusual surname is an imitative corruption of the locational surname Walbury, which is of Anglo-Saxon origin. The placename is derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "wealh", foreigner, serf, Briton, and "byrig", the dative case of the Old English "burh", fortified place, thus "the fort of the foreigner or the Briton". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname Whalebelly is very rare in Britain, and is found mainly in East Anglia; it can be found as Whalebelly and Whealebelly. Among the recordings in Suffolk are the marriage of James Whalebelly and Lucy White on October 10th 1680 at Bury St. Edmunds, and the christening of Robert, son of James and Lucy Whalebelly, on November 21st 1686 at St. James's, Bury St. Edmunds. Isaac Whalebelly married Elizabeth Clarke on February 3rd at St. John's, Timberhill, Norwich in Norfolk. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Whealebelly (christening), which was dated August 15th 1678, St. James, Bury, St. Edmunds, Suffolk, during the reign of King Charles 11, "The Merry Monarch", 1660 - 1685. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017