- There is probably no other surname in the English lists which is recorded in as many different ways, as this one. Some are very rare, whilst others are encountered almost daily. These versions include: Wyborn, Wybourne, Wyburn, Wiburn, Weaben, Webben, Webborn, Webburn and many more. The surname has its 'roots' in the Old English and Anglo-saxon 7th Century personal name "Wigbeorn". The derivation is from the words "wig", meaning war and "beorn", a hero. It is perhaps not surprising that given such a meaning it achieved great popularity over a thousand years and more of English history. It has further uniqueness in that it is one of small group of 'names' which 'survived' the Norman-French Invasion of 1066, when for two centuries thereafter it was not 'politically correct' to call ones children by Saxon names. The personal name is first recorded as Wibern de Keistret in the Curia Regis rolls of Kent for the year 1212. As a surname the first recording may be that of Ralph Wybern in the tax register known as the 'Feet of Fines' for the county of Essex in 1241, whilst a slightly later recording is that of Richard Wyborn in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Worcestershire in 1275. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.
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