The Norman Conquest
in 1066 brought much change, including many immigrants with new names. Among these were the ancestors of the Willkant family, whose name comes from the Norman personal name William,
which is derived from the words will,
meaning resolution and helm,
Early Origins of the Willkant family
The surname Willkant 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 Willkant family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willkant research.Another 237 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1558, 1614, 1672, 1668, 1625, 1626, 1699 and 1618 are included under the topic Early Willkant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Willkant 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 Willkant 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... Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Willkant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Willkant family to the New World and Oceana
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 Willkant or a variant listed above: Nicholas Wilking, a juror of St. John's, Newfoundland in 1753; Maudlin Wilkin settled in Barbados in 1654; Bridget and John Wilkines settled in Virginia in 1623.
The Willkant 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.