Pile Family

Legal Right to Village Life

Sheep Stealing

Swing Riots

Flour List

Terrier Survey

George Pile Died

Murder at The Cricketers

Local Affairs

19th Century Ends

Catchlove Family


Scott Family


Westbourne Family



PostOffice 1851

Kelly's Directory 1911
Listed Buildings
The River Ems

The River Westbourne
Wartime Experiences
Church War Memorial

Village Cemetery

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A village history in West Sussex


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The spelling variations of this name include: Westburn, Westbourne, Westbourn, Wessburn, Wessbourn, Westbyrne and many more.

First found in Sussex where they held a family seat as lords of the Manor after the Battle of Hastings 1066, William Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant  with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census Domesday Book, indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Westbourne, held by earl Roger of Winchester, who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.

William the Conqueror commissioned the  Domesday Day survey at Christmas 1085. It was the only census in England before 1801. Its name ‘Domesday’, the book of the Day of Judgement, attests to the awe with which the work has always been regarded. The earliest names accorded to it ‘the King book’ and ‘the great book of Winchester’, where it was first kept, in the royal treasury, were displaced as early as the twelve century by a title which really recalled the wonder with which the subjugated English had seen their Norman lords called to deferential account.

Source: https://www.houseofnames.com/

As shown below, an  internet search from various sources confirmed the variation of surname spellings, but few were found who had connections with the village of Westbourne or county of Sussex. Perhaps a search before the beginning of census records in 1801 will prove more fruitful.


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Family History

Name:                                 Emily Rubina Jacob WESTBOURNE

Gender:                              Female

Baptism Date:                  23 Jul 1837

Baptism Place:                Westbourne, Sussex, England

Father:                               James Westbourne

Mother:                             Mary

Name:                                 William WESTBURN

 Age:                                    43

Estimated birth year:   abt 1858

Head Spouse's name :   Mary Westburn

Where born:                     England

County:                              Ayrshire, Scotland

Occupation:                      Butler Domestic

British Phone Books, 1880-1984

Name:                                 C WESTBOURN

Address:                            46 Westbourne Rd N7...

Exchange:                         01-607

City/Town:                       North, Barnsbury

Directory Title:               London Surnames S - Z

Publication Year:          1982

Directory County:         London

Name:                                 P E WESTBYRNE

Address:                            32 Coopers Clo Chigwell.

Exchange:                         01-500

City/Town:                        Hainault

Directory Title:               Outer London: South West Essex

Publication Year:          1978

Directory County:         Essex

British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920

Name:                                 J P WESTBORN

Regiment or Corps:       West Kent Regt

Regimental Number:    8539

UK, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960

Name:                                 Jane WESTBOURNE

Gender:                              Female

Age:                                     6

Birth Date:                         abt 1947

Departure Date:              23 Jul 1953

Port of Departure:         Liverpool, England

Destination Port:            Montreal, Canada

Ship Name:                       Ascania

Shipping line:                   Cunard Steam Ship Company, Limited

Master:                               J Dawson

UK, Extracted Probate Records, 1269-1975

Name:                                 WESTBORNE, WESTBOURNE, Thomas

Dates:                                 1659

Place:                                  General, England

Book:                                  Index to Acts of Administration in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 1655-1660

Collection: England:     Canterbury - Administrations in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1655-1660 (R-Z)

Text:                                    Westborne, Westbourne, Thomas, Ewhurst, Sussex 1659


Early Records

Few people can trace their ancestors back to the Middle Ages unless they have royal or landowner connections, but nevertheless there are surviving records which are of great interest to read. Medieval England had a very well organised government and well structured archives survive dating from the Domesday Book of 1086. A number of transcriptions are available for inspection at the Public Records Office. At the time it was written surnames were not used, and in order to identify people, a description relating to their appearance, character, profession, relationship to another person, or place of abode was applied. Eventually these by-names became hereditary and thus many of our modern surnames were established - Black, Goodman, Archer, Davidson, Hill, Thatcher, etc. Some names are unusual such as Roger God-Save-Ladies (Rogerus Deus Salvæt Dominas), who was a Norman living in Essex.  

Here’s one possible explanation:

GODLOVEMILADY. This remarkable name really existed not many years since. The similar designation Rogerus Deus-salvet-dominas (Roger God-save-the-Ladies) occurs in the Domesday Book of Essex. It was probably the sobriquet of some admirer of the fair sex, who frequently employed the phrase.

And here’s a holier explanation:

Roger seems to have had some link with the nunnery of the Holy Trinity at Caen, so that the Dominas figuring in his byname were probably nuns of that house. Whatever, the Norman-French version of the name, “De Salt Les Dames,” was passed down to Roger’s descendants. As usual, this could be modified as the years passed, for example:

Name:              Elizabeth Godlluff

Burial Date:   23 Aug 1714

Burial Place: Essex, England

The Domesday Book is a census of 275,000 names, when the population of England is calculated by experts to have been around 1.5 million.