Wilkins History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought the Wilkins family name to the British Isles. Wilkins comes from the Norman personal name William, which is derived from the words will, meaning resolution and helm, meaning armed.

Early Origins of the Wilkins family

The surname Wilkins 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.

Early History of the Wilkins family

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

Wilkins Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Wilkins, Wilkin, Wilkines, Wilkyn, Wilking and others.

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


United States Wilkins migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Wilkins or a variant listed above:

Wilkins Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Roger Wilkins, who arrived in America in 1620 [1]
  • Giles Wilkins, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [1]
  • Goodwife Wilkins, who settled in Virginia in 1623 along with John
  • Bray Wilkins, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1634 [1]
  • Humfrey Wilkins, aged 19, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Wilkins Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Wilkins, who landed in Virginia in 1723 [1]
  • Thomas Wilkins, aged 43, who arrived in New England in 1774 [1]
  • Thomas Wilkins settled with his wife Temperance, in Boston in 1774 with six children
  • Joseph Wilkins, aged 14, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1775 [1]
  • Arnold Wilkins, who landed in New York, NY in 1797 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Wilkins Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Wilkins, who arrived in Maryland in 1824 [1]
  • Edmund Wilkins, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1836 [1]
  • James F Wilkins, aged 37, who arrived in St Louis, Missouri in 1846 [1]
  • B F Wilkins, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]
  • E Wilkins, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Wilkins migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wilkins Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Andrew Wilkins U.E. who settled in Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 member of the Cape Ann Association [2]
  • Mr. Isaac Wilkins U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784 [2]
  • Mr. Martin Wilkins U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784 [2]
  • Mr. Robert Wilkins U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [2]
Wilkins Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Susanna Wilkins, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1822
  • Robert Wilkins, aged 50, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Condor" in 1838
  • Jane Wilkins, aged 40, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Condor" in 1838
  • Alice Wilkins, aged 14, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Condor" in 1838
  • Robert Wilkins, aged 10, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Condor" in 1838
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Wilkins migration to Australia +

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

Wilkins Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Wilkins, (b. 1788), aged 27, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for theft, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1839 [3]
  • Mr. James Wilkins, English convict who was convicted in London, England for life, transported aboard the "Asiatic" on 5th June 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • George Wilkins, English convict from Somerset, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [5]
  • James Wilkins, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Joseph Wilkins, (b. 1776), aged 51, British Labourer who was convicted in Buckinghamshire, England for 14 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Asia" on 19th November 1827, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Wilkins 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:

Wilkins Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Wilkins, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Wilkins, aged 37, a gardener, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Grace Wilkins, aged 38, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Matthew Wilkins, aged 17, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Hannah Wilkins, aged 15, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Wilkins (post 1700) +

  • Roy Wilkins (1901-1981), American Civil rights activist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • William H. Wilkins, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New Hampshire 2nd District, 1910; Candidate for U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, 1914, 1920; Candidate for Governor of New Hampshire, 1916 [8]
  • William T. Wilkins, American politician, Mayor of Alexandria, Virginia, 1940-49 [8]
  • William Wilkins, American politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons from Edgecombe County, 1820-23 [8]
  • William Wilkins (1779-1865), American Democrat politician, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, 1831-34; Resigned 1834; U.S. Minister to Russia, 1834-35; U.S. Secretary of War, 1844-45; Member of Pennsylvania State Senate, 1856-58 [8]
  • Walter Wilkins, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kentucky, 1904 [8]
  • W. W. Wilkins, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from South Carolina, 1948 [8]
  • W. W. Wilkins, American politician, Member of Minnesota State Senate 12th District, 1879-82 [8]
  • W. W. Wilkins, American politician, Member of California State Assembly 9th District, 1851-52 [8]
  • W. T. Wilkins, American politician, Member of Minnesota State Senate 3rd District, 1885-86 [8]
  • ... (Another 76 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Franklin R Wilkins (b. 1964), American Private from Shamokin, Pennsylvania, USA who died in the crash [9]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. George H Wilkins (b. 1913), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [10]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. John Wilkins, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [11]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Joseph Paschal Wilkins (1903-1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [12]


The Wilkins 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.


Suggested Readings for the name Wilkins +

  • 219 Pioneers and Patriots: A History of the John Wilkins and Some Related Families of Virginia by James Richard Wilkins.

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 151 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1823
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1827
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  10. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  11. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  12. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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