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Connections to the Wellers of Kent

Kent, England

By Richard Weller, 12-May-2008.

If there is a connection between our WELLER line from Ox & Bucks and the WELLERs of Kent the link must be before 1500. So even if there is such a connection it is unlikely that it can be proved. Records surviving from that era are not numerous. Our line has been traced back to mid C16, and we know that there were already WELLERs in Oxford well before that.

I have also researched the Kent WELLERs over many years.  When I first became addicted to genealogy as a teenager, family folklore had it that we descended from a family in Cranbrook, Kent (because there was a family heirloom bearing an engraving of a coat of arms granted to a member of that family.)  Only much later did I learn that it was not uncommon for people to 'adopt' a coat of arms granted to someone of the same surname, but quite regardless of any relationship.  I have compiled many pages of numerous branches of a family tree descending from a Richard WELLER, clothier of Cranbrook born 1515.  There was an unnamed WELLER there in 1499, supplying 'russet cloth'  to Christchurch Cathedral Priory, who may well have been Richard's father.
My hunch is that the surname developed independently in the two areas and that there is no connection between the WELLERs of Kent and those of Oxford.  Indeed, it is generally believed that the former originated in continental Europe.
WELLERs were and still are thick on the ground in south-east England.  They appear in the records of at least 85 parishes before 1600, of which 45 were in Sussex, 16 in Surrey and 13 in Kent. There was also a Weller family in Reading by 1580s - see the PRs of St Giles, Reading - and also Malcolm and my own ancestors in Warborough, Oxon.  So any connection between our two families must pre-date them, and we are of course getting into the time before records were kept.

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People related to this content: R M. Weller (Born:19xx),

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