Prussia, which reached the zenith of its power in the late 19th century, is the glorious birthplace of the distinguished surname Wilhelmsson. 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 Wilhelmsson family.
Early Origins of the Wilhelmsson 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 Wilhelmsson family
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Wilhelmsson Spelling Variations
Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Wilhelmsson include Wilhelm, Wilhem, Wilhelmi (Latinized), Wilhelmy, Wilhelmus (Latinized), Wilhelms, Wilhelmsen (Holstein), Wilhalm ( Bavaria, Austria), Wilms (Friesland) and many more.
Early Notables of the Wilhelmsson family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Wilhelmsson family to the New World and Oceana
Since medieval times, the state of Prussia has played an important part in the history of Germany. The state's military powers were historically very strong, and endured until after the Second World War, when the territory was broken up and divided between the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany. A spurt of migration followed, with some Prussians going elsewhere in Europe and many others crossing the ocean to North America. Most entered the United States through Philadelphia. Some remained there, while more moved on to the states of Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Others traveled to Canada and settled Ontario and the prairie provinces. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Wilhelmsson or a variant listed above: 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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