Show ContentsWillke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The rich and ancient history of the Willke family name dates back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It comes from a medieval given name, a short form of William. [1]

Willke is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Many patronyms were formed when a son used his father's personal name as a surname, while others came from the personal names of famous religious and secular figures. In this case, the surname was originally derived from the popular medieval surname William, which became even more popular after the Norman Conquest of England, in 1066, led by William the Conqueror.

Early Origins of the Willke family

The surname Willke was first found in Bedfordshire (Old English: Bedanfordscir), located in Southeast-central England, formerly part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, before and after the Norman Conquest in 1066.

Early History of the Willke family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willke research. Another 73 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1545, 1598, 1545, 1556, 1548, 1553, 1529, 1535, 1551, 1564, 1600, 1570, 1580, 1641, 1665, 1732, 1691, 1760, 1690, 1666 and 1740 are included under the topic Early Willke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Willke Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Willke have been found, including Wilkes, Wilke, Wilks and others.

Early Notables of the Willke family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Israel Wilkes, a 17th century citizen and distiller of London, father of the politician John Wilkes. Sir Thomas Wilkes (1545?-1598), was an English diplomatist, born about 1545, and is said to have been a native of Sussex. "The Oxford registers do not supply his father's name, and the family occurs in many counties and in many forms, such as Wikes, Wylkes, Weekes, Wyckes, and other variations. A Richard Wilkes (d. 1556) was master of Christ's College, Cambridge, from 1548 to 1553; a Thomas Wilkes represented Chippenham in the Reformation parliament of 1529-1535, and another...
Another 176 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Willke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Willke migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Willke, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were :

Willke Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Lt. Herman Willke, aged 22, who landed in Galveston, Tex in 1844 aboard the ship "Ferdinand" [2]
  • Mr. Conrad Hein. Willke, from Berlin who arrived in Galveston, Texas aboard the ship "Ferdinand" in 1844
  • Friedrich Willke, who arrived in Galveston, Tex in 1846 [2]

Australia Willke migration to Australia +

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

Willke Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Johann Gottfried Willke, aged 30, who arrived in South Australia in 1848 aboard the ship "Victoria" [3]

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. 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)
  3. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) VICTORIA 1848. Retrieved from on Facebook