Watkiss History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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the pet form Wat, which is supplemented by the common diminutive suffix -kin and the patronymic suffix -son, which superseded other patronymic suffixes during the 14th century.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

The surname Watkiss 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 Watkiss family

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

Watkiss Spelling Variations

Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Watkiss name over the years has been spelled Watkinson, Watkisson, Watkynson, Wattkinson, Waytkinson, Waytekinson, Waitkinson, Watkenson and many more.

Early Notables of the Watkiss family (pre 1700)

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


United States Watkiss migration to the United States +

The Welsh began to emigrate to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s in search of land, work, and freedom. Those that arrived helped shape the industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. The records regarding immigration and passenger show a number of people bearing the name Watkiss:

Watkiss Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • J. Walford Watkiss, aged 40, who arrived in New York, N. Y. in 1921 aboard the ship "Scythia" from Liverpool, England [1]
  • Nellie Watkiss, aged 41, who arrived in New York, N. Y. in 1921 aboard the ship "Scythia" from Liverpool, England [2]
  • Gertilyn A. Watkiss, aged 32, originally from Spanish Town, Jamaica, who arrived in New York in 1922 aboard the ship "Princess May" from Port Antonio, Jamaica [3]
  • Eleice Ann Watkiss, aged 14, originally from Kingston, Jamaica, who arrived in New York in 1922 aboard the ship "Princess May" from Port Antonio, Jamaica [4]

Australia Watkiss migration to Australia +

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

Watkiss Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

Contemporary Notables of the name Watkiss (post 1700) +

  • Simon Watkiss, American actor, known for Connected (2008), Chinese Zodiac (2012) and Badges of Fury (2013)
  • John Watkiss, American animation artist, known for his work on Tarzan (1999), The Emperor's New Groove (2000) and Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
  • Mike Watkiss (b. 1957), American actor, known for his work on The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom (1993), Blood Guardian (2009) and The Phoenix Incident (2015)
  • Gerald Watkiss (1955-2007), birth name of Gerald Masters, English musician, solo artist and songwriter
  • John "Johnny" Watkiss (b. 1941), English former football defender who represented Australia 31 times between 1965 and 1974
  • Stuart Watkiss (b. 1966), English former professional footballer and manager
  • Cleveland Watkiss (b. 1959), British London Jazz Award winning virtuoso vocalist, actor and composer


  1. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6G2-XNG : 6 December 2014), J. Walford Watkiss, 30 Aug 1921; citing departure port Liverpool, England, arrival port New York, N. Y., ship name Scythia, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  2. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6G2-XNP : 6 December 2014), Nellie Watkiss, 30 Aug 1921; citing departure port Liverpool, England, arrival port New York, N. Y., ship name Scythia, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  3. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JNVN-XW1 : 6 December 2014), Gertilyn A. Watkiss, 08 Sep 1922; citing departure port Port Antonio, Jamaica, arrival port New York, ship name Princess May, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  4. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JNVN-X4M : 6 December 2014), Eleice Ann Watkiss, 08 Sep 1922; citing departure port Port Antonio, Jamaica, arrival port New York, ship name Princess May, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/buffalo


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