Show ContentsWatkinson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

First composed in the countryside now known as Wales, the ancient name of Watkinson began its life as a name for a the personal name Walter. The surname Watkinson is derived from the pet form Wat, which is supplemented by the common diminutive suffix -kin and the patronymic suffix -son, which superseded other patronymic suffixes during the 14th century.

Early Origins of the Watkinson family

The surname Watkinson was first found in Yorkshire, at Beeston and Ilkley where they held a family seat from ancient times undoubtedly related to the Welsh Watkins of Pennoyre in Breconshire.

Early History of the Watkinson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Watkinson research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1665 and 1780 are included under the topic Early Watkinson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Watkinson Spelling Variations

Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Watkinson has occasionally been spelled Watkinson, Watkisson, Watkynson, Wattkinson, Waytkinson, Waytekinson, Waitkinson, Watkenson and many more.

Early Notables of the Watkinson family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Watkinson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Watkinson migration to the United States +

The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Watkinson:

Watkinson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Cornelius Watkinson, who landed in Maryland in 1670 [1]
  • Jane Watkinson, who arrived in Maryland in 1670 [1]
Watkinson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Roger Watkinson, who landed in New England in 1712 [1]
  • James Watkinson, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [1]
  • Elizabeth Watkinson, who settled in New England in 1718
  • John Watkinson, who settled in New York state in 1774
Watkinson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Watkinson, aged 39, who landed in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Elizabeth Watkinson, who settled in New York State in 1820 along with Thomas, Peter and Maria
  • Sarah Watkinson, who arrived in New York, NY in 1838 [1]
  • Isaac Watkinson, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1840 [1]

Australia Watkinson migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Watkinson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Watkinson, English convict who was convicted in Liverpool, Merseyside, England for life, transported aboard the "Enchantress"on 6th April 1833, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [2]
  • Alfred Watkinson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Posthumous" in 1849 [3]
  • J. Watkinson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Posthumous" in 1849 [3]
  • William Watkinson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Posthumous" in 1849 [3]

West Indies Watkinson migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [4]
Watkinson Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John Watkinson, who settled in Barbados in 1634
  • Mr. John Watkinson, (b. 1612), aged 22, British settler travelling from London, UK arriving in St Christopher (St. Kitts) on 5th January 1634 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Watkinson (post 1700) +

  • Lee Watkinson (b. 1966), American professional poker player, as of 2010, his total live tournament winnings exceeded 4,100,000
  • Eddie Watkinson (b. 1979), American video and internet artist
  • Mr. Richard Watkinson, British sheriff, held the joint position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1649 to 1650
  • Mr. Samuel Watkinson, British sheriff, held the joint position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1689 to 1690
  • Laura Watkinson, British literary translator
  • William Watkinson (b. 1922), English footballer, active from 1947 to 1950
  • David Watkinson, English professional rugby league footballer for England in 1979 and for Great Britain (1979-1986)
  • John Taylor Watkinson (1941-2004), British Labour Party politician, barrister and teacher, Member of Parliament for Gloucestershire West (1974-1979)
  • Peter Watkinson, New Zealand silver medalist rower at the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games
  • Douglas Arthur Watkinson (b. 1945), English novelist, playwright and screenwriter, best known for his work on Howards' Way (1985), Midsomer Murders (1997) and The New Statesman (1984)
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Stanley Watkinson (b. 1919), New Zealander Paymaster Sub-Lieutenant serving for the Royal Navy New Zealand Division from Hastings, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [5]

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th April 2022).
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The POSTHUMOUS 1849. Retrieved from
  4. ^
  5. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook