Show ContentsWilkin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Wilkin is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. Wilkin 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 Wilkin family

The surname Wilkin 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 Wilkin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wilkin 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 Wilkin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wilkin Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Wilkin were recorded, including Wilkins, Wilkin, Wilkines, Wilkyn, Wilking and others.

Early Notables of the Wilkin 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 Wilkin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wilkin Ranking

In the United States, the name Wilkin is the 12,917th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

United States Wilkin migration to the United States +

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Wilkin arrived in North America very early:

Wilkin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Wilkin, who landed in Virginia in 1660 [5]
Wilkin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Wilkin, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1812 [5]
  • George Wilkin, aged 30, who landed in St Louis, Missouri in 1845 [5]
  • Christoph Wilkin, aged 66, who landed in New York in 1849 [5]
  • Dorthea Wilkin, aged 48, who arrived in New York in 1849 [5]
  • H J Wilkin, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1860 [5]

Canada Wilkin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wilkin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Robert Wilkin, who arrived in Canada in 1836

Australia Wilkin migration to Australia +

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

Wilkin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Wilkin, English convict from Essex, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • John Wilkin, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Planter" in 1839 [7]
  • Hannah Wilkin, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Planter" in 1839 [7]
  • John Wilkin, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Isabella Watson" in 1846 [8]
  • Mr. Edward Wilkin who was convicted in Swaffham, Norfolk, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Clara" on 19th March 1857, arriving in Western Australia, Australia [9]

New Zealand Wilkin migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Wilkin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Wilkin, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841
  • Robert Wilkin a farmer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Romulus" in 1862
  • Mr. Wilkin, Canadian travelling from Vancouver Island aboard the ship "Konig Oscar" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 11th January 1865 [10]
  • Mr. R. Wilkin, British travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 8th January1869 [10]
  • Mrs. Wilkin, British travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 8th January1869 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Wilkin migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [11]
Wilkin Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Maudlin Wilkin, who settled in Barbados in 1654

Contemporary Notables of the name Wilkin (post 1700) +

  • Marijohn Wilkin (1920-2006), American songwriter
  • Abra Prentice Anderson Wilkin (b. 1942), American philanthropist
  • Corporal Edward G Wilkin, American soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945
  • Simon Wilkin (1790-1862), English editor of the ‘Works of Sir Thomas Browne,’ born at Costessey (Cossey), Norfolk [12]
  • Jon Wilkin (b. 1983), English rugby player
  • Catherine Wilkin (b. 1945), English-born, Australian actress

The Wilkin 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. ^
  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)
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 27) Andromeda voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1832 with 186 passengers. Retrieved from
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PLANTER 1839. Retrieved from
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ISABELLA WATSON 1846. Retrieved from
  9. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 11th February 2021, retrieved from
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  11. ^
  12. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 31 Jan. 2019 on Facebook