There is probably no other surname in the English lists which is recorded in as many different spellings as this one. Some spellings are very rare, whilst others are encountered almost daily. These many versions include: Whyborn, Whyborne, Wybourne, Wyburn, Wiburn, Weaben, Webben, Webborn, Webburn and many more. The surname has its 'roots' in the Old English and Anglo-Saxon 7th Century personal name Wigbeorn meaning War Hero. It is perhaps not surprising that given such a meaning the name achieved great popularity, although much was lost with the Norman Invasion of England in 1066. Thereafter for two centuries it became politically incorrect to use Saxon names, and it was only after the time of the famous King Richard 1st, known as Lionheart, who died in 1199, that English and Saxon names came into their own again. As a personal name it is first recorded as Wibern de Keistret in the Curia Regis rolls of Kent for the year 1212. As a surname the first recording may be that of Ralph Wybern in the tax register known as the 'Feet of Fines' for the county of Essex in 1241, whilst a slightly later recording is that of Richard Wyborn in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Worcestershire in 1275. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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