Show ContentsWillits History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Willits is derived from the diminutive form of the Old English personal name "Will" or "William." [1] Thus, the name refers to a "son of Willet." One of the first records was as a forename, specifically Wil(l)ot de Foxwist in the Assize Rolls for Cheshire in 1286. [2]

Early Origins of the Willits family

The surname Willits was first found in Suffolk where Symon Wylot was listed in the Feet of Fines for 1269. A few years later, Thomas Wilet was found in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1277 and William Wyllet, Wyllot was registered in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1327 and 1332. [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had only one listing for the family, that of Richard Wylyot in Norfolk in 1273. [3] In Somerset, John Wilot was listed as holding lands 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [4]

Early History of the Willits family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willits research. Another 144 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1511, 1562, 1586, 1598, 1605, 1621, 1633, 1650, 1665, 1674, 1678, 1703, 1718, 1719, 1736, 1764 and 1795 are included under the topic Early Willits History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Willits Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Willet, Willett, Willhite, Willot, Willitt, Willets and many more.

Early Notables of the Willits family

Notables of this surname at this time include: Dr. Andrew Willet (1562- 1621), an English clergyman and controversialist. Born at Ely in 1562, he was son of Thomas Willet (1511?-1598), who began his career as a public notary, and officiated as such at the consecration of Archbishop Parker. [5] Deborah "Deb" Willet (1650-1678), was a young maid employed by Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) whose extramarital liaisons were chronicled in his famous diary. Thomas Willett (1605-1674), born in Hertfordshire, was an early American merchant, Plymouth Colony trader and sea-captain, Commissioner of New Netherland, magistrate of Plymouth Colony, first Mayor of New York City. He was...
Another 116 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Willits Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Willits Ranking

In the United States, the name Willits is the 14,147th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6]


Australia Willits migration to Australia +

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

Willits Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Willits, (Willietts), (b. 1823), aged 16, English blacksmith who was convicted in Worcester, Worcestershire, England for 10 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Egyptian" on 5th April 1839, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1906 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Willits (post 1700) +

  • Emma K. Willits (1869-1965), American pioneering woman physician and surgeon
  • Edwin Willits (1830-1896), American politician from the state of Michigan
  • Christopher Willits, American musician and multimedia artist
  • Reggie Gene Willits (b. 1981), American professional baseball outfielder
  • Ryan Willits (b. 1987), former Australian Rules footballer
  • Adam Willits (b. 1972), Australian actor, best known as an original cast member of the television soap opera Home and Away
  • Peter Willits Burnside (1930-2022), American Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher who appeared in 196 Major League Baseball games from 1955 to 1963


The Willits 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: Dieu et mon devoir
Motto Translation: God and my work.


  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 26th January 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/egyptian


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