Frequency & Distribution

Frequency and distribution - or how many and where found.

In 1881 there were around 250 Wellbeloves living in England. Of these, 94% could be found in London & the surrounding Home Counties, with 51% in Surrey alone. Over 90%* of all Wellbeloves could claim Surrey and/or adjoining London/Middlesex, ancestry. The early name bearers from Devon & Worcestershire (see Meaning & Origin tab above), had either migrated elsewhere, probably the London area, or died out. Note that although there are two recorded Devon inhabitants in 1881, neither were born there.

The census data needs to be further refined so as to show the numbers for each surname variant. This will take time as a number of Wellbeloves were recorded as Welbeloves and vice versa. Historically, this was primarily due to illiteracy. As many householders could not read or write the census enumerator would record the surname as he heard it and make a guess at the spelling. However, by 1881, many of the Wellbelove heads of household could read and write, and I wonder whether some of the mis-recording was down to laziness on the part of the Census enumerator, or a seeming indifference to the spelling from the name bearers.

* Applies to individuals born a Wellbelove. Many wives of Wellbeloves were born elsewhere, and their ancestry is often uncertain, and anyhow beyond the scope of this article.

See map below for Wellbelove surname distribution in the 1881 Census.

Wellbelove 1881
Click to view full size

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