Skip to main content

Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • English (Yorkshire and East Midlands) : topographic name composed of Middle English whele ‘wheel’ + hous ‘house’. According to Reaney, the reference is often to a house near a dammed-up stream where a cutler ground his knives on a small water-wheel. The compound is not attested as a vocabulary word in this or any other sense before the 19th century, although the surname William de Whelehous is found in 1379.

Join the Family

Your partner in parenting from baby name inspiration to college planning.