Wilkens History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's generation of the Wilkens family bears a name that was brought to England by the wave of emigration that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Norman personal name William, which is derived from the words will, meaning resolution and helm, meaning armed. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Wilkens family

The surname Wilkens was first found in Glamorganshire where they held a family seat from early times. They were descended from Robert de Wintona, one of twelve knights who came into Glamorgan with Robert Fitzhamon, a Norman noble, in 1066. Fitzhamon was Sheriff of Kent and founder of Tewkesbury.

The Pipe Rolls for Northumberland list the name Wilechm in 1166 and later Wilekinus was found in the Hampshire Pipe Rills for 1191. Richard Wilekin was found in the Pipe Rolls for Hampshire in 1180 and William Wilekin in the Curia Regis Rolls for London in 1220. Roger Wylkyns was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Staffordshire in 1327. [3]

Early History of the Wilkens family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wilkens research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1558, 1614, 1672, 1668, 1625, 1626, 1699, 1618, 1685, 1745, 1601, 1603, 1614 and 1672 are included under the topic Early Wilkens History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wilkens Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Wilkins, Wilkin, Wilkines, Wilkyn, Wilking and others.

Early Notables of the Wilkens family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Wilkins FRS (1614-1672), an English clergyman, natural philosopher and author, founder of the Invisible College and one of the founders of the Royal Society, Bishop of Chester from 1668 until his death. Thomas Wilkins (1625 or 1626-1699), was a Welsh cleric and antiquarian; and George Wilkins (died 1618), was an English dramatist and pamphleteer best known for his probable collaboration with Shakespeare on the play Pericles, Prince of Tyre. An inn-keeper by profession, he may have been involved in criminal activities. David Wilkins (1685-1745), was an English...
Another 93 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wilkens Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wilkens Ranking

In the United States, the name Wilkens is the 6,941st most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [4]

United States Wilkens migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Wilkens or a variant listed above:

Wilkens Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Gertrud Wilkens, who settled in New Netherlands in 1653
  • Gertrud Wilkens, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1653 [5]
  • Claes Wilkens, who arrived in New York in 1687
Wilkens Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • C. M. Wilkens, who arrived at Baltimore in 1830
  • Heinr Wilkens, who arrived in North America in 1832-1849 [5]
  • Herm Wilkens, who landed in North America in 1832-1849 [5]
  • Marg Wilkens, who arrived in North America in 1832-1849 [5]
  • Marie Wilkens, who landed in North America in 1832-1849 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Wilkens (post 1700) +

  • Tom Wilkens (b. 1975), American three-time gold, two-time silver and six-time bronze medalist competitive swimmer
  • Leonard Randolph "Lenny" Wilkens (b. 1937), American basketball player and coach, inducted three times into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
  • Henry Wilkens (1855-1895), American Medal of Honor recipient for two separate engagements, Little Muddy Creek and Camas Meadows, against Lame Deer and the Nez Perce in the Idaho Territory
  • Elmer Wilkens (1901-1967), American football player with the Green Bay Packers during the 1925 NFL season
  • Carl Wilkens (b. 1957), American former head of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International in Rwanda
  • Wilhelm Wilkens (1893-1967), Swedish rower at the 1912 Summer Olympics
  • Toni Wilkens (b. 1962), Swedish actor
  • Theodoor Wilkens (1690-1748), painter from the Northern Netherlands
  • Piter Wilkens (b. 1959), Dutch singer, guitarist, composer, lyricist, and producer
  • Jan Wilkens (b. 1943), former South African wrestler, South African Heavyweight Champion and six-time EWU World Super Heavyweight Champion
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Wilkens Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Estote prudentes
Motto Translation: Be ye prudent.

  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ 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)

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