Prussia, which reached the zenith of its power in the late 19th century, is the glorious birthplace of the distinguished surname Wilhelmsen. In the medieval era, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the German lands were inhabited by a variety of Barbarian tribes. The borders of the Barbarian kingdoms changed frequently, but the region that became known in Prussia was roughly divided between the areas of Brandenburg-Prussia, West Prussia, and East Prussia. The colorful history of Brandenburg-Prussia, which is essentially the birthplace of modern Germany, provides a glimpse at the oldest origins of the Wilhelmsen family.
Early Origins of the Wilhelmsen family
Germany, where the name was associated in early mediaeval times with the feudal society which would become prominent throughout European history. The name would eventually emerge as belonging to a noble family with great influence, having many distinguished branches, and become noted for its involvement in social, economic and political affairs. Its use as a Surname must be traced back to its immense popularity as a first name early in the Middle Ages. Indeed, one chronicle mentions a knight's feast in Bayeux around 1171 A.D. in which alone 117 Wilhelms were listed as taking part.
Early History of the Wilhelmsen family
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Wilhelmsen Spelling Variations
Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Wilhelmsen include Wilhelm, Wilhem, Wilhelmi (Latinized), Wilhelmy, Wilhelmus (Latinized), Wilhelms, Wilhelmsen (Holstein), Wilhalm ( Bavaria, Austria), Wilms (Friesland) and many more.
Early Notables of the Wilhelmsen family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Wilhelmsen family to the New World and Oceana
Prussia played an extremely influential role in shaping modern German history. It remained a part of Germany until after the Second World War. Prussia was divided among the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany. Many Prussians became residents of these new countries after the War, and many migrated to other parts of Germany or Europe, as well as to North America. In the United States, the majority of settlers landed in Philadelphia, and moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Many German settlers also migrated to Canada, particularly to Ontario and the Prairies. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Wilhelmsen were John Wilhelm, who emigrated to America in 1709; Jacob Wilhelmus arrived in Philadelphia in 1727; and was followed by Johannes Wilhelm in 1728; Johann Frantz Wilhelm in 1737.
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