The English surname Websdane is of toponymic origin. Toponymic surnames derive their origin from a place where the original bearer lived or held land. The use of the hereditary surname system began in England in 1066, when William the Conqueror brought England under Norman administration. As a result English surnames were taken from one's personal, place or nickname. In this instance, the surname Websbane is derived from a place named Websdane or "Wibba's Dene", the exact location of which is no longer known. Thus the surname Websdane signifies "one from Websdane". The place name Websdane is derived from the Old English personal name Wiobba also of uncertain origin, and "denu" meaning "valley". Variants of the surname Websdane include Webs, Webbs, Websdale, Webley, Webking.
References to the surname Websdane or to is variants include Jernagan, Osbert, and Wigor Webbe in 1221 of Soffolkshire. Alice Webbes is listed in the Court Rolls of Colchester in 1337. Johannes Wybbe is listed in the Poll Tax Rolls of Yorkshire in 1379. Nicholas Webbe was listed in the Wills of Chester in 1603. In America, Thomas Webs of Virginia was recorded in 1655, as was John Webscum of Maryland in 1653, and David Webley of New York in 1824. Frederick Webking is mentioned in the same year. The Webbes family of Gillingham in the county of Kent were ennobled and granted the following coat-of-arms.
An excerpt found in an old English book reads "My wife was a webbe. And woolen cloth made". Webb was a trade name given to one skilled in the ancient craft of weaving.
The complexity of modern life makes one forget the once simple way of life during the middle ages and the specialized skills of its people. After the shearing of the sheep, the wool passed through many hands before it became a suit. The webber put the wool into his loom on a beam where it passed through the harness to receive the weft. The woolen industry in England was second only to agriculture as a national occupation.
Webb was the oldest form of this name with Webber and Weaver coming later. Weber was the German equivalent where it achieved noble rank and title.
Alger se Webba appeared on tax rolls in 1100. There was a Webbe family in Suffolk in 1221. Elyas le Webbe lived in Oxford in 1255 and Alice la Webbe was listed on Colchester Court Rolls in 1337. A long line of Webbs achieved the title of Baron in England and Sir John Sydney Webb was notable in Twickenham during the 1800s.
The list of Webbs arriving in colonial America is a long one. Adey Webb was in Plymouth, Mass. as early as 1631. Richard Webbe from Dorsetshire become a freeman in Cambridge, Mass. In 1632, John Webb, a husbandsman from Marlborough, Wilts County, arrived in Boston in 1634. Henry Webb a merchant, came to Boston from Salisbury in 1638.
The illustrated Webb coat of arms was granted by King James I. The red shield carries a gold cross and four gold falcons. The falcon represented one eager in the pursuit of a much desired object. It was associated with the Egyptian sun god Horus.
The above was retyped from an article (author unknown) as copied and placed in the Webbe family tree by Marilyn Brill. This particular Blazon or Coat of Arms was taken from "Blazons! 95" by Robert Lott Billard, 1997 is virtually identical to the Blazon in the copied article, which the copy was of poor quality. The Blazon is officially described in Heraldic terms "Gules a cross between four falcons or". Other sources describe the red on the shield as representing military fortitude and the four falcons as 'one who does not rest until the objective is achieved.