DEVON-L ArchivesArchiver > DEVON > 2001-03 > 0985220740
From: John Yolland <>
Subject: Re: Devon Surname Aliases
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001 12:25:40 +1200
Hi Devon Listers
I was most interested in the recent posting by Brian Randell of the URL for Mike
Brown's essay on Devon Surnamee Aliases
When I first came across these in my early family records, I was unsure what
they meant and whether to incorporate the two names into a single family
listing. As I have now established our family of YOLLAND was also widely known
as WELBROKE in the 1500's and this is shown in the list that Mike Brown's essay
contains. His list also shows the reverse pairing of YALLAND/WELBROKE from a
register in Widecombe in the Moor in 1610. Howver from dates and other
information on the IGI, I am fairly certain that this was the marriage of my 8g
grandfather John YOLLAND to Mary SMERDON
The IGI actually lists it as YALLOND or WELBROKE, John / Mary Smerdon, 19 Nov
1610, Widecombe in the Moor, with what apparently is their eldest son John
being christened the following year;
Welbrooke, John John WELBROOKE /Mary 18 Nov 1611 Widecombe in the Moor.
The use of the alias Welbroke seems to have declined after those two items
The interesting thing is that in the previous generation there is also a
marriage between another family using aliases.
John Yolland alias Welbroke married Elizabeth Cholwill alias Williams, somewhere
about 1560, this latter alias is also shown in Mike Brown's list with the
spelling of WILLYAMS
I suppose the big question is where did these aliases come from, and Mike makes
several suggestions in his essay.
However I do have a lead as to the YOLLAND / WELBROKE pairing. Several years ago
my cousin Peter in London located an Inquisition Post Mortim that sheds some
light on the relationship of the two names. This was originally in Latin and he
had it translated. Included in it are descriptions of two propeties:
The Inquistion post mortem dated 8 September, 1542, followed the death of John
Yolland /Welbroke on 25 April 1538, and lists
three properties, two of which clearly relate with the combination surname:
" One croft and forty acres of land, with the appurtenances, called Welbroke,
within the parish of South Brent, in the aforesaid County;
And of one messuage and a hundred acres of land, with the appurtenances, in
Yollond in the same parish; .... "
On present day maps of Dartmoor, (UK Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure Series No
28) about a mile or so NNW of South Brent, are shown YALLAND Cross( cross roads)
YALLAND Farm, and YALLAND Warren, not far from Shipley Bridge. However
Crossing's Gude to Dartmoor (2nd edition 1912) lists these places as YOLLAND
including all the above and adding YOLLAND Waste. It is interesting to note that
the original survey maps dating about 1840 or earlier, available at the oldmaps
URL show just the farm hamlet as YOLLAND.
So far I have not been able to locate a place called Welbroke, and would be most
intereted if any readers can offer any suggestions as to its location.
John Yolland, Auckland, New Zealand
Brian Randell wrote:
> Mike Brown, of Dartmoor Press, has provided GENUKI/Devon with a very
> interesting essay on "Some Devon Surname Aliases" and index.
> Quoting from Mike's Introduction:
> "The Index below has been compiled from a variety of documentary
> sources, but principally from registers and wills. It is now being
> made available via the GENUKI website in the hope that the entries
> might provide enquirers with some useful clues to surnames to
> consider in trying to unravel the genealogy of the families
> concerned. And also so that others with a general interest in this
> subject can see what aliases have been discovered in various records
> which have been consulted.
> The Index is solely of true aliases, rather than alternative spelling
> forms which are purely phonetic in origin, which latter were
> occasionally written as aliases in some sources. So-called aliases
> used in manorial documents are also excluded, for the term alias was
> used in them only in order to identify the maiden names of lives in
> three life leases.
> I have for some time held a fascination for surname aliases, and over
> the past couple of years or so have made a particular point of noting
> and indexing them when they have been found. One of the initial aims
> of compiling such an Index - but one which has not really been
> achieved! - was to try and identify the origins of some of the
> aliases. But it has to be said that these remain something of a
> mystery in the vast majority of instances."
> The article can be found via the GENUKI/Devon main page, under
> "Names, Personal". Its actual URL is:
> Brian Randell
> Dept. of Computing Science, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne,
> NE1 7RU, UK
> EMAIL = PHONE = +44 191 222 7923
> FAX = +44 191 222 8232 URL = http://www.cs.ncl.ac.uk/~brian.randell/