What is the origin of the last name Wilkinson?

The last name Wilkinson, of English origin, traces its roots to medieval times. It is derived from the Old English personal name "Wilkin," a diminutive form of "Wilhelm," meaning "desire" or "will." The suffix "-son" denotes "son of," thus making Wilkinson mean "son of Wilkin." This surname likely emerged as a patronymic or nickname, signifying "son of little Will" or "son of William." The name Wilkinson has a long history in England and has spread to various English-speaking countries around the world.

Countries of origin for the last name Wilkinson

The last name Wilkinson has a long and fascinating history. Derived from the English and Scottish surname Willikin, it is a patronymic name meaning “son of Wilkin.” Wilkin itself is a diminutive form of the given name William, which ultimately has Germanic origins.

The earliest documented appearance of the surname Wilkinson can be traced back to the 13th century in England. Over time, the name has undergone various spelling variations including Wilkynson, Wilkyson, Wilkeson, Willikin, and others. These variations reflect the evolving nature of language and the influence of regional dialects.

The distribution of the Wilkinson surname can be found primarily in English-speaking countries, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. Within the United States, the name has a significant presence in states such as Texas, California, and Illinois.

The popularity of the last name Wilkinson can be attributed to several factors. Genealogical research shows that many individuals with this surname were among the early settlers in the American colonies, particularly in Virginia and Maryland. The prevalence of the name in these areas led to its subsequent spread across the country as families migrated westward.

The origins of the name Wilkinson can also be linked to occupations and trade. In medieval England, individuals with the surname often worked as smiths or metalworkers. The association with this craft may explain the occurrence of the name in areas known for their blacksmithing tradition.

Furthermore, the surname Wilkinson has been associated with notable individuals throughout history. One prominent example is Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson, a British chemist and Nobel laureate known for his groundbreaking work in the field of coordination chemistry. His achievements have brought recognition to the name and added to its significance.

In conclusion, the last name Wilkinson has a rich history filled with connections to English and Scottish heritage, patronymic naming conventions, and regional variations. Its prevalence in English-speaking countries, particularly the United States, can be attributed to early migration patterns and occupational affiliations. The surname also holds associations with notable individuals who have left their mark in various fields. Exploring the origins and meaning of this last name opens a window into the vast tapestry of human history and the interconnectedness of families throughout generations.

Interesting facts about the last name Wilkinson

  • The surname Wilkinson is of English origin.
  • It is derived from the given name William, which is of Germanic origin, meaning “will” or “desire,” and “helm” or “protection.”
  • The name Wilkenson was first recorded in England in the early 13th century.
  • Wilkinson is a relatively common surname in English-speaking countries, particularly in England, Australia, and the United States.
  • Famous bearers of the surname Wilkinson include Jonny Wilkinson, a former English rugby player, and Kendal Wilkinson, an American model and television personality.
  • There are several variations of the surname, including Wilkisson, Wylkynson, Wilkesson, and Wilkynson.
  • The Wilkinson family name has been associated with various coats of arms throughout history.
  • In the United States, the highest concentration of individuals with the surname Wilkinson can be found in the states of Utah, Kentucky, and Mississippi.
  • The Wilkinson Genealogical Society was founded in the United States in 1971 to promote the study and research of the Wilkinson surname and its variants.
  • The surname has been used as the inspiration for various business names, such as Wilkinson Sword, a British manufacturer of razors and other grooming products.

Name Rank


There are around 53739 people with the last name Wilkinson in the US

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