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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Scottish


The family name Wills is derived from the ancient Germanic personal name William, which itself comes from the roots will, meaning will or desire, and helm, meaning protection.

Wills Early Origins



The surname Wills was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat at Saltash from very ancient times.

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Wills Spelling Variations


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Wills Spelling Variations



Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and 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 of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Wills, Will, Wylls and others.

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Wills Early History


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Wills Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wills research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 162 and 1620 are included under the topic Early Wills History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Wills Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Wills Early Notables (pre 1700)



More information is included under the topic Early Wills Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Wills In Ireland


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Wills In Ireland



Some of the Wills family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included 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 North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Wills or a variant listed above:

Wills Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Bennet Wills, who arrived in Maine in 1627
  • Bennet Wills settled in Maine in 1627
  • Thomas Wills settled in Maryland in 1633
  • John Wills settled in St. Christopher in 1634
  • Roger Wills, aged 20, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Wills Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Solloman Wills, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Benjamin Wills, who was an emigrant in bondage, arriving in America in 1757
  • John Wills, who arrived in North Carolina in 1769

Wills Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • George Wills, who landed in Maryland in 1833
  • Abraham Wills, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1835
  • William Wills, who landed in Texas in 1835
  • James Wills, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Fanny Wills, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Wills Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Richard Wills, fisherman of St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1794 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0

Wills Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Charles Wills, aged 20, arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1864

Wills Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Charles Wills arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Singapore" in 1839 [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
    State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SINGAPORE (aka SINCAPORE) 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Singapore.gif
  • Jane Catherine Wills arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Singapore" in 1839 [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
    State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SINGAPORE (aka SINCAPORE) 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Singapore.gif
  • John Wills arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Singapore" in 1839 [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
    State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SINGAPORE (aka SINCAPORE) 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Singapore.gif
  • John Wills arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constance" in 1849
  • Ann Wills arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constance" in 1849
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Wills Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Alfred Wills landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship Brougham
  • James Fabian Wills landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship London
  • A. Wills arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Brougham" in 1842
  • W. Wills arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ann Wilson" in 1857
  • Catherine Wills arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ann Wilson" in 1857
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Contemporary Notables of the name Wills (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Wills (post 1700)



  • Maury Wills (b. 1932), American baseball player
  • Frank Wills (1822-1857), English-born, American architect who is best known for his Gothic Revival churches throughout North America
  • Elliot Taylor "Bump" Wills (b. 1952), American former Major League Baseball second baseman
  • James Robert "Bob" Wills (1905-1975), American Western swing musician, songwriter, and bandleader
  • Gary Wills (b. 1934), American author, journalist, and historian awarded the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
  • Chill Theodore Wills (1903-1978), American Academy Award nominated film actor and singer
  • Royal Barry Wills (1895-1962), preeminent Boston architect and author
  • Christopher J. Wills (b. 1938), Professor of Biology at University of California, San Diego
  • Frank Wills (1948-2000), American security guard who discovered the truth about the Watergate Scandal break-in that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon
  • Helen Wills (1905-1988), American tennis player, known as the great women's player of her time
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Wills Historic Events


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Wills Historic Events




HMS Repulse

  • Mr. John William Wills, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Charles Richard Wills, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died during the sinking

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Suggested Readings for the name Wills


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Suggested Readings for the name Wills



  • Tueth: Other Families, Hart, Fields, Newkirk. Wills by Doris E. Wastradowski.

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Motto


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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: Sursum
Motto Translation: Upwards


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Wills Family Crest Products


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Wills 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. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SINGAPORE (aka SINCAPORE) 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Singapore.gif

Other References

  1. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  6. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  9. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Wills Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wills 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 30 November 2016 at 05:18.

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