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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2017


The distinguished surname Willes emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. Occupational surnames were derived from the common trades of the medieval era. The surname Willes is an occupational name for a person employed in trapping fish. The surname Willes is derived from the late Old English word wil, which means trick and was used to refer to mechanical devices such as windmills or traps. This derivation of the name Willes is supported by the existence of the Old English word wyle, which refers to a wicker trap for catching fish, particularly eels. Historians also suggest that the surname may have also been a nickname applied to a cunning man or someone "of many wiles."

Willes Early Origins



The surname Willes was first found in Sussex where they held a family seat from early times.

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Willes Spelling Variations


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Willes Spelling Variations



Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Wiles, Willes, Wyles and others.

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Willes Early History


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Willes Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willes research. Another 133 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1693, 1773, 1773, 1685 and 1761 are included under the topic Early Willes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Willes Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Willes Early Notables (pre 1700)



Prominent in the family at this time was Edward Willes (1693-1773), an English Anglican Bishop of St David's and later Bishop of Bath and Wells; he died in London in 1773, and...

Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Willes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



Early immigration records have shown some of the first Willess to arrive on North American shores:

Willes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Michael Willes, who arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1638 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    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)
  • Eliz Willes, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    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)
  • John Willes, who landed in Maryland in 1668 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    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)
  • Thomas Willes, who landed in Maryland in 1670 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    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)

Willes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Joshua Willes, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    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)
  • Mary Willes, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    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)
  • William Willes, who arrived in Virginia in 1887 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    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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Contemporary Notables of the name Willes (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Willes (post 1700)



  • William Sydney Smith "Sidney" Willes (1819-1871), American Mormon pioneer, member of the Mormon Battalion, one of the founders of Lehi, Utah
  • William Willes (1814-1890), American Latter-day Saint songwriter
  • Jean Willes (1923-1989), American film and television actress, known for roles in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Ocean's 11 (1960) and Gypsy (1962)
  • Jabez Willes (1790-1842), American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from St. Lawrence County, 1828, 1834; Member of New York State Senate 4th District, 1835-38
  • Stephen Willes, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Albany County, 1819-21, 1825 [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
    The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  • S. Blaine Willes, American politician, Mayor of Orem, Utah, 1986-89 [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
    The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  • John Willes (1778-1852), English cricketer for Kent (1806-1822)
  • Sir John Willes (1721-1784), English politician, Member of Parliament for Banbury (1746-1754) and for Aylesbury (1754-1761)
  • Sir James Shaw Willes (1814-1872), English jurist, Judge of the English Court of Common Pleas
  • Edward Willes (1723-1787), English barrister, politician, and judge, son of Sir John Willes
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Willes Family Crest Products


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Willes Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



  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. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html

Other References

  1. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  7. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  8. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  11. ...

The Willes Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Willes Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 May 2016 at 12:27.

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