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Loyalist
Thursday, February 24th, 2011, 04:59 PM
I was doing some research into one of my more recent English lines which came to a dead-end at my great-great-great-grandmother. I knew she was a native of England, and finally managed to track her down. She was born in a small town just outside of York, which makes sense as her more well-documented husband was also from the area. Now, her mother's surname is given on her birth certificate as "Weldrake". I searched some other genealogical resources and found very few people with this name, and all who do possess it originate from the same region of Yorkshire. There is a town near York called Wheldrake, so it is obviously a local name. My question is on the origins of the name Weldrake (and that of its presumed origin, the town of Wheldrake). Is it of Angle (or Anglo-Saxon, if you prefer), Danish, or some other origin? The name does not strike me as Brythonic/Celtic.

Ĉmeric
Thursday, February 24th, 2011, 08:41 PM
If Weldrake breaks down as weld + rake, weld might be a variant of "weald", the old Englsih word for a wooded area, akin to the German "wald". Weald is still used to describe a wooded area of southern England. If Weldrake is wel + drake, then drake is from the old English word for dragon, which could be a reference to the family's coat-of-arms.

Wychaert
Thursday, February 24th, 2011, 08:56 PM
http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Weldrake

:thumbup nice name!

Hamar Fox
Thursday, February 24th, 2011, 09:02 PM
http://www.ancestry.co.uk/facts/weldrake-family-history-uk.ashx

I can't help you with etymology, I'm afraid. But the above link shows that in 1891, 98% of Weldrakes lived in Yorkshire ;)

Loyalist
Sunday, July 3rd, 2011, 11:44 PM
Happened upon this by chance:


"Chwyl Draig" (Cumbric) - ...and the Yorkshire place-name Wheldrake meaning Dragons Cave. The Welsh word chwyl means a turn or turning and the Cornish word whel means a mine. Cumbric provides the semantic link between Welsh chwyl and Cornish whel in that the Cumbric word chwyl refers to a pothole beneath a fors, the churning stones being clearly visible as the cause of the wheel. Furthermore the place-name Wheldrake reveals that Cumbric chwyl came to mean any pothole, or even a cave, which semantically is only a short step to the meaning of Cornish word whel. Incidentally the spelling of the morpheme whel in Wheldrake is identicle to Cornish spelling

I'll take comfort in the fact that the area is still well within the Danelaw.

Linden
Monday, July 4th, 2011, 12:06 AM
I find this almost impossible to believe. My neighbour is called 'Weldrake', and he and wife are from Selby, North Yorkshire. You may be related. It is not a common name, and Selby is quite close to York (I think).

Loyalist
Monday, July 4th, 2011, 12:24 AM
I find this almost impossible to believe. My neighbour is called 'Weldrake', and he and wife are from Selby, North Yorkshire. You may be related. It is not a common name, and Selby is quite close to York (I think).

We could well be; this woman (my 4x-great grandmother) was born in Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, only 14 miles from Selby, and I do have other ancestors on this side who were from Selby. It does seem to be a very uncommon surname, but in any case what a small world.

Eliite
Monday, July 4th, 2011, 12:41 AM
It does seem to be a very uncommon surname, but in any case what a small world.

Many things are uncommon if judged in a global context too though, there is a local name in my area which every second or third person seems to have, yet I can't recall ever hearing of an American with it. Which almost by default makes it an uncommon name due to the population differences and cultural impact and exposure the US provides to the Anglosphere.

wittwer
Monday, July 4th, 2011, 03:41 PM
Most Germanic and English surnames are based on geographic location, practised trade, natural objects, or personal characteristic. Such as Hatfield-haethfeld, Smith-Blacksmith, Hawthorn-tree of the same name or Laudemann-loudman.

Since the surname has a tie to a geographic location, I would consider it to be geographic in nature.

Using the Old-Middle English naming system, I could be known as "Edwin of Hatfield" much like "Robert of Locksley"... ;)