This is a locational name of Olde English pre 7th Century origins which derives from "Waella - burma" translating as "The Spring by the Stream". The modern surname derives from the Villages of Welborne in Norfolk, Welbourn in Lincolnshire, and Welburn in the North Riding of Yorkshire, all of which have the same origins. As regards the modern spelling, it can only be said that the surname is spelt in every way that it is possible to spell it, from Willburn as William Willburn of 1712, St. martins in the Field, London to Thomas Willbourne who was recorded at Stepney in 1789. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh de Wellburne. which was dated 1273, The Lincolnshire Pipe Rolls. during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.