Origins Available: English
The history of the Wilis family name begins after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. They lived in Berkshire. Their name is derived from the Old English word welle,
and indicates the original bearer's residence near such a facility.
Early Origins of the Wilis family
The surname Wilis was first found in Berkshire where they held a family seat
at Hungerford Park, a baronetcy granted by King Charles I. They are believed to be descended from Baron
Welles, the Duke of Somerset
, and the grandmother of Henry VII, a Norman Baron
from Welles in Normandy
who was granted Rockingham Castle but was beheaded. Not all of the family emigrated to England
as Hugh and Robert de Wellis were listed in Normandy
in 1198. Effric de Welles held the fief or Wellis, Normandy
in 1180. CITATION[CLOSE]
The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
Johannes Willeson was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6) and Walter filius Wille held lands in Dumfries in 1214. CITATION[CLOSE]
Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3) Walter Willys was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire in 1327 and Roger Wyllys was found in Kent in 1438. Years later, Richard Willys was listed in the Feet of Fines of Essex in 1517. CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
Early History of the Wilis family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wilis research.Another 185 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1207, 1279, 1214, 1576, 1656, 1590, 1645, 1642, 1643, 1621, 1675, 1614, 1690, 1664, 1734, 1614, 1701, 1659, 1660, 1665, 1666 and are included under the topic Early Wilis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wilis Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. When the Normans
became the ruling people of England
in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Willis, Wilis and others.
Early Notables of the Wilis family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Willis (1576-1656), a member of the English landed gentry and Clerk of the Crown in Chancery at the outbreak of the English Civil War, owing to which he suffered the loss of his position and some of his estates; George Wyllys or... Another 127 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wilis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wilis family to Ireland
Some of the Wilis family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 109 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wilis family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England
. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Wilis or a variant listed above were: William Willis settled in Quidividi, Newfoundland, in 1703; Josiah Willis settled in Kiers Cove, Labrador, in 1766; Anne Willis settled in Virginia in 1620.