Welles is an Old English surname meaning "spring of water." Wellesley is a variant, commonly found as a surname as well. As a surname Welles dates back to 1086 and is credited to a well (spring) in Lincolnshire. As far as Wellesley goes, there were 5 girls given the name in 2015, none in 2016, 5 in 2017and 6 boys in 1923, that is all. For Welles, there were 46 boys given the name in 2017 and no girls. There's really only one namesake with Welles as a first name - Welles Crowther, an American who died saving others during 9/11. Wellesley is perhaps more well known as the surname of the Dukes of Wellington and there are no well known namesakes with Wellesley as their given name. Welles is a decidedly nickname-free name, while Wellesley can be shortened to Welles.