- This interesting name if of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from a place called Wheldrake in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The first element of the surname is from the Old English pre 7th Century "cweld, cwield", destruction, death and the second element is from the Old English "ric", stream, ditch, thus "felon stream, a name given to a stream in which felons were drowned. There is a place in Hampshire called Warnborough which has a similar meaning. Wheldrake was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Coldrid", as "Queldric" in the Pipe Rolls (1190), as "Coldric" in the Pipe Rolls (1176-1194) and as "Coudric" in the Feet of Fines (1218). The modern surname can be found as Welldrake, Weldrick, Wildrake and Wheldrake. The name is very common in Yorkshire; it can be found there under all the variants. Among the sample recordings in Yorkshire are the christening of John, son of Henry and Eliza Welldrake, on May 22nd 1853 at East Knottingley, and the marriage of Mary Welldrake and John Brook on December 21st 1835 in Halifax. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Queldrik, which was dated 1272, Register of the Freemen of the City of York, during the reign of King Henry 111, "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.