Recorded in the spellngs of Wilbraham, Willbraham and Wilbram, this surname is English. It is locational, and originates from either Wilbraham, a manor in the county of Cheshire or the adjoining villages known as Great and Little Wilbraham in Cambridgeshire. The latter are recorded as "Wilburgeham" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, sometimes known as the first newspaper, in about the year 1000 a.d., and as "Wilburham Magna and Wilburham Parva" in the charter known as the Valuation of Norwich in 1254. The place name itself is composed of the Old English female compound personal name "Wilburg", made up of "Wil", meaning desire and "burh", a fortress, plus the second element of "-ham", the Old English word for an enclosure or farm, or sometimes a water meadow. Amongst the early recordings are those of William de Wilburgham in the Calendar of Patent Rolls, in 1286, whilst Margret, the daughter of John and Ann Wilbraham was christened at Nantwich, Cheshire on April 8th 1543. Another recording is that of Ann Wilbram, who married Randall Lawton at Prestbury, Cheshire, on June 26th 1572, whilst Thomas Wilbraham was one of the early settlers and a small landowner at St. George's, in the Barbadoes in 1679. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Wilburgham. This was dated 1259, in "Shirley's Noble and Gentle Men", during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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