- There are two possible sources of this Anglo-Saxon surname, the first being that it is an occupational name for a salt boiler, one who extracted the salt from sea water, an important medieval occupation. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "wiellan", or "wellan", meaning to "boil". Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. However, Weller may also be a topographical name for a person who lived near a spring or a well, with the derivation from the Olde English "well(a)", with the Middle English development "well(e)". Topographical surnames are some of the earliest to be created, as topographical features, whether natural or man-made provided obvious and convenient means of identification. Recordings from London Church Registers include the christening of Edward Weller in October 1584, at St. Margaret's, Westminster, and the christening of Thomas Weller on May 2nd 1585, at St. Andrew's, Holborn. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard le Weller, which was dated 1272, in the "Feet of Fines of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.