- This is an interesting name of medieval English origin and is a dialectal variant of a locational name Welham, from places so called in Nottinghamshire and East Yorkshire. The first recordings of these placenames are found in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Wellun', and the former in the Fees of Nottinghamshire in 1242 as 'Wellum', and the latter in the Yorkshire Chronicles of 1173 also as 'Wellum'. The derivation is from the Old English 'wellum', the dative plural of 'wella', meaning a spring. Thus, the name in its present form is an early variant of the present placename. One George Wellum married Mary Crosby on 29th November 1819 at Pontefract, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Weleham, which was dated 1276, Hundred Rolls of Leicester, during the reign of King Edward I, '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.