WILKINSON Surname Meaning and Family History

What Does the Last Name Wilkinson Mean?

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The Wilkinson surname is a patronymic meaning "son of Wilkin," from Wilkin, a diminutive for William from the Germanic name Wilhelm, which in turn derives from the elements wil, meaning "will or desire," and helm, or "helmet or protection." Wilkinson is just one of many surnames derived from William, or "son of William."

Wilkinson is the 72nd most common English surname.

Surname Origin: English, Scottish


Famous People with the WILKINSON Surname

  • Signe Wilkinson - Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist
  • Tom Wilkinson - Popular British character actor
  • Mark Wilkinson - English furniture designer
  • Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson - won the Nobel prize for chemistry in 1973
  • John Gardner Wilkinson - one of the founders of Egyptology
  • Jane Wilkinson Long - considered the "Mother of Texas" for giving birth to the first child of European descent in Texas

Where is the WILKINSON Surname Most Common?

Surname distribution information from Forebears, tells us that the Wilkinson surname is most prevalent in England, particularly in the northern half of England. Data from WorldNames PublicProfiler supports this, demonstrating that Wilkinson is most prevalent in the North region of England, followed by Yorkshire and Humberside, North West and East Midlands. Wilkinson is also more common in Tyrone in Northern Ireland, as well as throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Genealogy Resources for the Surname WILKINSON

Wilkinson Family Crest - It's Not What You Think
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Wilkinson family crest or coat of arms for the Wilkinson surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families, and may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted.

More than 130 members have joined this project for the Wilkinson surname to work together to find their common heritage through DNA testing and sharing of information.

WILKINSON Family Genealogy Forum
This free message board is focused on descendants of Wilkinson ancestors around the world. Search the forum for posts about your Wilkinson ancestors, or join the forum and post your own queries. 

FamilySearch - WILKINSON Genealogy
Explore over 6 million results from digitized historical records and lineage-linked family trees related to the Wilkinson surname and variants on this free website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

GeneaNet - Wilkinson Records
GeneaNet includes archival records, family trees, and other resources for individuals with the Wilkinson surname, with a concentration on records and families from France and other European countries.

Ancestry.com: Wilkinson Surname
Explore over 5 million digitized records and database entries, including census records, passenger lists, military records, land deeds, probates, wills and other records for the Wilkinson surname on the subscription-based website, Ancestry.com.


References: Surname Meanings & Origins

  • Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.
  • Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.
  • Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.
  • Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.
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Powell, Kimberly. "WILKINSON Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/wilkinson-last-name-meaning-and-origin-1422644. Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 27). WILKINSON Surname Meaning and Family History. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/wilkinson-last-name-meaning-and-origin-1422644 Powell, Kimberly. "WILKINSON Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/wilkinson-last-name-meaning-and-origin-1422644 (accessed April 2, 2023).