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WILKINS FAMILY NAME HISTORY

 

     The English surname Wilkins is of patronymic origin, derived from the name of the father of the first bearer of this surname.  This surname derives from the Christian name William, ”son of William” is then the proper translation of Wilkins.  The name William is of Anglo-Norman origin, from the Old High German “Wilihelm” , formed by “will”, meaning resolution, and “helm”, meaning armed.  This name was very popular during the Middle Ages as can be proved by the existence of famous people like William Rufus (the red), or King William II of England (1056-1100) and his father, William the Conqueror, or William I of England (1027-1087), who as Duke of Normandy invaded and conquered the English in 1066.

     Very early records of the surname Wilkins go as far back as the twelfth century, with a Willechin de Laurecost in 1196 (Pipe Rolls, or Sheriffs’ Annual Accounts for the Counties of Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Durham during the reigns of Henry II, Richard I and John).  A Ralph Wylekin was living in County Norfolk during the reigns of Henry III and Edward I.  A Wilechin in 1167 is mentioned in the “History of Northumberland” by Reverend John Hodgson.  In more recent times we have an important bearer of Wilkins with the name of Sir Henry John Arthur Wilkins, from Devon, President of Cooperative Wholesale Society Limited.  He was knighted in 1932.  Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins (1916-  ) was a New Zealand-born British biophysicist who shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine with Watson and Crick in 1962, for the discovery of the structure of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).

 

BLAZON OF ARMS:  Ermine, on a bend sable, three martlets argent, a canton or, with a rose

                                    gules.

CREST:                       A boar passant reguardant sable, pierced through the shoulders with an

                                     arrow argent, bendways sinister, the boar biting the arrow.

MOTTO:                       Estote prudentes.

Translation:                   Be ye prudent.

ORIGIN:                        ENGLAND