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About the study

In 2008 I had already been researching my surname and variants for many years and had been a regular contributor to the 'Wellbelove Genealogy' website. In consultation with the webmaster, Simon Parker-Galbreath, and others it was decided that I would join the Guild and register the surname and surviving variants on behalf of the members of the 'Wellbelove Mailing List'. In 2011, owing to other commitments, I took over the running of the website from Simon.

Variant names

As well as Wellbelove, the surviving variants of Wellbeloved, Welbelove & Welbeloved, are researched on a Worldwide basis. Data is also collected on extinct historical variants.

Name origin

The surname is of nickname in origin. The earliest surviving record of the surname dates back to 1277 in Devon. There are further references in Devon over the next century. The only other early reference is from 1327 in Worcestershire.

  •  John Welebiloved - Devon 1277 
  • Richard Wellbyloved - Worcestershire Subsidy Rolls 1327

There is no evidence that any modern day Wellbeloves are descended from these areas. It is possible that members of these families migrated to the London area, but it is also possible that the name bearers from what later became the surname heartland for centuries, namely London/Middlesex and especially neighbouring Surrey, evolved separately.

History of the name

Wellbeloves of note include:

  • Rev. Charles Wellbeloved (1769-1858) - Unitarian Minister and Principal of Manchester College, York.
  • Alfred 'James' Wellbeloved M.P. (born 1926) - 'Jim' Wellbeloved was Member of Parliament for Erith & Crayford, Kent, from 1965-1983.

Name frequency

A small study, with some 260 individuals recorded in the 1881 UK Census. Half being the main variant Wellbelove.

By 2002 there were some 352 name bearers in the UK - 71.5% Wellbelove, 23% Wellbeloved, 5.5% Welbelove. Research of available data suggests there are fewer than 600 name bearers Worldwide today.

Distribution of the name

In 1881 50% of Wellbeloves lived in Surrey and over 90% could claim Surrey ancestry. Although the name has not travelled well, in numbers at least, today it can be found in, Australia, Canada, parts of Europe, New Zealand, South Africa & the USA.


Data held includes:

  •  GRO Birth, Marriage and Death Index 1837-2009.
  •  England & Wales Census 1841-1911
  •  IGI
  •  National Burial Index ed3.
  •  Vital Records Index.
  •  Will indexes & transcripts.

Plus other available data and equivalent Worldwide sources.


I have taken the FamilyTreeDNA 67 Marker Y-DNA test where I set up a Wellbelove DNA project. In addition I took the 46 marker test and set up a Wellbelove group there also. To-date I am the only member of either, and as far as I know, the only Wellbelove Worldwide to be tested. Contact me if you are interested in taking the test. There are discounts offered for tests ordered through an existing project/group, and the various providers often offer special discounts at different times throughout the year. Please note the test can only be taken by male name bearers as the Y-DNA signature is passed down through the male line.