WENBAN Ancestry
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© 2008 Wenban Family.  Website by Myles design.
"As told by Frederick Myles Wenban  born Sydney Australia, 1950" 5th Gen. Australian
descended from the Manildra Wenbans & prior to that Wilberforce Wenbans from Wadhurst Sussex England.
This website is a compilation of facts as reported by many different people from many different sources. The website is being constantly updated as facts are clarified and verified. If you have any info that is different to the info presented here and can be substantiated then please contact the webmaster. Also if you have any old "Wenban" photos, we would love to receive copies.
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In the year 1295 in the county of Sussex England, there is mention of a Hugh(on) de Waneburn & Gilbert de Waneburn
In the year 1327 John and Laurence de Waneburn are both mentioned in connection with a land holding in the "wiste of Waneburn". Edwin de Wenborne was documented in County Lancashire in the year 1379.
The next mention we find is 1394 in reference to a parcel of land on the 18th October Where a John and William Wenbourne are both  mentioned, most likely in reference to the same parcel of land which we can assume to be "Wenbans" (Wenbons Farm) Wadhurst, East Sussex. The first time the name ‘WENBAN’ was used was when Thomas Wenban married Mary Longley on the 9th December 1772 and they signed the register "WENBAN" and they are directly related to the same mediaeval property known as "Wenbans" previously known as Wenbourn(e)s or Wenbons Farm which is all in one the same property.


(Please note.The "Wenbans Farm" property is privately owned  and the owners request their privacy is respected.  Thank you.


The origin of the name Wenban derives from either a Saxon origin - "Waenna's Bourne", the stream on which Wenna a Saxon Chieftain
and his people lived (there is a stream upon the land) or the de Wanebourne route. The latter can only be proven by an examination of the pre1200s Old Latin documents of the time, lodged in Battle Abbey. The number of scholars of Old Latin available to translate these can be numbered on one hand and would charge accordingly to do the work! Spelling was phonetic for many centuries and so variations of the name appear Wenbon, Wanebourne, etc,etc.,but the crucial decider seems to be the adjacency of the 'N' and 'B' in the middle. all others being nothing to do with us. 
Ref. Peter Wenban. England.


Although the name "Wenban" is thought be to Anglo Saxon in origin, it is more than likely that "Wenbans" of Norman decent came in with William the Conquers army around 1066 and settled in the Sussex area and eventually settled at "Wenna Burna" and became known by the name of the place where they lived .i.e. on the site of the Saxon Chieftains Village.

We Australian Wenbans, are most likely descended from John de Wanebourne who resided in that same area around 1328 as mentioned in the tax list of  Edward III.

In 1328 Edward II levied a universal tax to pay for wars against the Scots and the list of the amounts paid by the Maghefeld [Mayfield] and Wadehurst [Wadhurst] landowners is still in existence."
“This list mentions John de Wanebourne as a taxpayer”

Ref. www.theweald.org.

Most people will recognise this war against the Scots, which was portrayed in the movie “BRAVEHEART” featuring
Mel Gibson who played “William Wallace, The Brave”.

John de Wanebourne is also mentioned in the individual records as being born in the 13th century. Further records indicate that the tax was a few shillings which would have been a substantial amount in the 13th century. Later on, there is also mention of the property 'Wenbans' (Wenbourns) in some old ordinance maps.

The Early History
*The photos in the header are of John, the first Wenban in Australia. My Gt.Gt.Gt. Grandfather
and his daughter Mary Ann Wenban.
Origins of the Wenban name
If you are Australian and your name is Wenban then you are descended from
John or William Wenban of Sussex England
If you are American and your name is Wenban then you are descended from one of four brothers,Thomas, James, John and Gideon all of Sussex England
(these are John & Williams Uncles )
"Coat of Arms"
On the subject of Coat of Arms
There are websites and trading companies out there that make a living out of selling gullible people a "Family Coat of Arms". Be aware that there is NO Wenban Coat of arms that any historian is aware of and highly unlikely that one exists.
If you find one could you please let me know and ask the seller where they aquired their information !

16th and 17th century  From Archie Wenban's book "Rude Forefathers"

The proof of continuity in the line of Wenbourne family is clear although the details are blurred. The 17th century when Parish record were beginning to be firmly established was disrupted by the "English Revolution" , the de-throning and then restoration of the Stewarts, between1641 and 1660 many records were deliberately destoyed or ill-kept and this makes accurate genealogical research very difficult.

References to the family begin in the Parish registers of Mayfield and Wadhurst in Sussex in1572 and 1608 repectively and other records show their holding of lands in these two Parishes. The names Soloman and Robert recur from 1572 to 1701 covering probably four or five generations, all the signs indicate that there were at least three successive Roberts. The Will of John Whenbourne was proved in 1547, he had a son Robert and refers to a Robert son of Robert. One was born at the end of the 16th century and was married in Southwark, Surrey (now part of London) in 1614. This Robert's own Will was proved in 1637, it still exists in the Archives of East Sussex County at Lewes. His eldest son was Robert, but died only shortly after his father at 21 years of age. The Will, in archaic English script, is an interesting record of social pre-occupations and domestic values of that day. He gives all his lands to his wife until she has settled all the charges and legacies specified and thereafter to Robert and adds the clause "hereby appointing and willing that my children be ......... "put to prentice". In the year of proving, his third son Thomas is recorded in London as " having put himself to prentice to Nicholas Warren, Citizen and Skinner of London for nine years from Lady Day Past". He finally passed through all the grades of the Worshipful Company of Skinners to First Warden.
Five years later Robert's widow Elizabeth nee Cruttal also died and William is named in her Will as eldest son. This too is is the Archives and she leaves "to William my eldest sonne my weddinge ring and my best fether bedde and green rugge and one white blankett" and a whole list more of household linen and "one great wrothe needlework chayer" and other furniture. Her wearing apparrell Lynen and woollen to be equallie devided between my two daughters". Her brother, George Cruttall of the Parish of St. Saviour, Southwark and the Parish of Wadhurst had died a year earlier. A bachelor, he left " unto my sister Elizabeth Wenborne my house and lands being and lying Ticehurst, Sussex" and after her death to his nephew George and niece Sibill. A Citizen of Cutler of London, he may well have arranged Thomas's apprenticeship.
Thomas inherited from his mother "one piece of gold of eight shillings and a wine silver cupp and one feather bed the best remayning with blankett and a blewe rugg..." and other linen and furniture. He lived the rest of his life in the Parish of St. George, Southwark an area where it would appear a number of these country yeomen of some standing had built up business connections with the city. His father Robert when witnessing several Wills was described as "of Staple Inn" but it is not clear if this was residential or a legal status. Thomas's own Will mentions a son Thomas and three daughters, one widowed and two married and living in Burmingham. One of the witnesses was Mauncer and another Barham, both Wadhurstmen. William, the surviving elder brother, was in America in1638 and may have been recalled at the time of his brother Roberts death. In 1642 after his mother's death he is again recorded in New England at Boston and Exeter, New Hampshire. Twenty years later he sold up in Boston presumably prior to returning but no record of his death has been traced as yet on either side of the Atlantic. (Authors note: I have heard mention of a Wenbourne being involved with the "Sons Of Liberty" at the Boston Tea Party. If anyone has info on this I would like to receive same: Email: wenban@live.com.au Thanks).
Concurrent with the above there were two successive Solomon Wenbourne's in Mayfield and others carrying into the eighteeth century when Rotherfield is also mentioned. At this time too the Chilehurst branch was established.
The Author, Myles & kids, Larissa Leah & Luke
Surname: Wenban
Recorded in a wide range of spellings including Waneburn, Waneburne, Wenbon, Wenborn, Wenbourne, Winbon and Wenbar, this is an English and Anglo-Saxon surname. It is locational from a place in the county of Sussex near the town of Wadhurst, called Wenbon's Farm. Early recordings of the place name include Waneburne and Wenbourne in the rolls of Sussex, in 1296 and 1410. These spellings suggest that the component elements are the Olde English pre 7th Century "wende", meaning to winde, and "burna", a stream. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently produced variations in the spelling of the name. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers of the late medieval period include Katherine Wenborn, in the court rolls of Sussex, in 1510, and on July 17th 1699, Mary, the daughter of Thomas Wenbon, was christened at Lamberhurst, Kent. Thomas Wenborne signed his name in the marriage register of Salehurst parish, Sussex, as "Wenban" in 1772, and on October 28th 1810 James Wenban and Anne Swift were married in Ticehurst, Sussex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbert de Waneburne, which was dated 1296, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward I, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
740 years of the Family of Wenban
I'm getting lots of enquiries on how I created this website so have posted a link to the website builder here.
Its FREE!  and also links to very low cost web-hosting that I use.
Wilberforce Schoolhouse
Ann Potts (nee Wenbourne)
"Nabukenya"


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