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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Where did the English Wilkerson family come from? When did the Wilkerson family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Wilkerson family history?

The ancestors of the Wilkerson family first reached the shores of England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Their name is derived from the Norman personal name Wilkins, which in turn is derived from the name William. William, which is derived from the words will, meaning resolution and helm, meaning armed.

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Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Wilkinson, Wilkisson, Wilkiesson and others.

First found in Durham where they held a family seat from early times. They were descended from Robert de Wintona, of Glamorgan, one of twelve knights who came into Glamorgan with Robert Fitzhamon, a Norman noble, in 1066. Fitzhamon was Sheriff of Kent and founder of Tewkesbury.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wilkerson research. Another 215 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1610, 1675, 1616 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Wilkerson History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wilkerson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Wilkerson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Wilkerson or a variant listed above:

Wilkerson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Robert P Wilkerson, who landed in Texas in 1856
  • W C Wilkerson, who arrived in Mississippi in 1858

Wilkerson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Lottie Alice Wilkerson, aged 29, who landed in America from Somerset, in 1904
  • B. Wilkerson, aged 58, who settled in America, in 1905
  • Carrie Wilkerson, aged 33, who emigrated to the United States, in 1908
  • Grace Wilkerson, aged 54, who landed in America, in 1912
  • Ellen Wilkerson, aged 22, who landed in America from Oldham, England, in 1913


Wilkerson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Wilkerson, aged 38, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
  • Margaret Wilkerson, aged 40, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874

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  • Don Wilkerson (1932-1986), American soul jazz / R&B tenor saxophonist
  • Edward L. Wilkerson Jr. (b. 1953), American jazz composer, arranger, musician, and educator
  • Douglas Wilkerson (b. 1947), former American NFL football offensive lineman, who played from 1970-1984
  • Muhammad Anthony Wilkerson (b. 1989), American NFL football defensive end for the New York Jets
  • Isabel Wilkerson (b. 1961), American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
  • Curtis Vernon Wilkerson (b. 1961), American Major League Baseball player who played from 1983 to 1993
  • Dianne Wilkerson (b. 1955), American politician, Member of the Massachusetts Senate (1993-2008)
  • Tyler Wilkerson (b. 1988), American professional NBA basketball player
  • William Richard Wilkerson (1890-1962), American founder of the Hollywood Reporter and the Flamingo Hotel, Las Vegas
  • Gerald Eugene Wilkerson (b. 1939), American Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles

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  • Our Wilkersons: From Burke to Rutherford to Polk, 1760-1980 by Blanche W. Culbreth.
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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  7. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  8. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 3 December 2015 at 09:32.

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