This interesting and curious surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is of locational derivation from a place called Whitebrook, a hamlet south of the town of Monmouth, in the county of Gwent (formerly Monmouthshire) in East Wales. However, in some instances, the name may also be of topographical origin, for a dweller by the white or clear brook, stream. Both the placename and the topographical term are composed of the same elements, the Olde English pre 7th Century "hwit", white, and "-broc", a brook, stream or water meadow. During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often used their former village name as a means of identification, while topographical names were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Early recordings in London Church Registers include the marriage of John Whitbroke and Grace Rycherdson on January 14th 1551, at Allhallows, Honey Lane; the marriage of Margery Whitbroke and Nicholas Mosly, also at Allhallows, on February 25th 1553; and the christening of Elizabeth, daughter of William and Kitty Whitebrook, at St. Anne's, Soho, on August 2nd 1795. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margret Whitbrook, which was dated June 13th 1542, christened at St. Helen's, Worcestershire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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