Recorded in several spellings including Willan, Willen, Willin, and patronymics Willans, Willens and others, this is an English surname. It is however of Norman-French origins, and a short or nickname form of the popular given name William. Composed of the pre 6th century elements "wil", meaning will or desire, and "-helm", helmet or protection, the name was introduced into England at the famous Conquest of 1066. It subsequently became politically correct to adopt the name in honour of the Conqueror turned king. Early examples of recordings from surviving rolls and charters include Robertus filius Willelmi in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 whilst later Ralph Willem was listed in the descriptive catalogue of Ancient Deeds in the year 1304. Amongst the early recordings in surviving church records are the christenings of Anthony Willan on February 25th 1599 at St. Helen's Bishopsgate, and that of Mary Willans on June 6th 1652 at St. Andrew's Holborn, both in the city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Willeyne. This was dated 1584, in the register of the University of Oxford, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • willans — willage, aige, willane, willans, willany obs. Sc. ff. village, villain, villains, villainy …   Useful english dictionary

  • Willans Hill Model Railway — The railway was established in 1982. It is operated by the Wagga Wagga Society of Model Engineers. It includes 2 kilometres of track, two stations, several buildings, bridges, tunnels and a number of locomotives owned by the club or individual… …   Wikipedia

  • Owen Willans Richardson — Niels Bohr and Richardson (right) at the 1927 Solvay conference Born …   Wikipedia

  • Owen Willans Richardson — (* 26. April 1879 in Dewsbury; † 15. Februar 1959 in Alton (Hampshire)) war ein englischer Physiker. Nach seinem Abschluss 1900 in Cambridge arbeitete er auf dem Gebiet des glühelektrischen Eff …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Owen Willans Richardson — Owen Willans Richardson. Sir Owen Willans Richardson (n. Dewsbury, Yorkshire, 26 de abril de 1879 – † Alton, Hampshire, 15 de febrero de 1959). Físico inglés. Estudió en la Universidad de Cambridge …   Wikipedia Español

  • Owen Willans Richardson —  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Richardson.  Owen Willans Richardson Naissance 26 avril&# …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Geoffrey Willans — Herbert Geoffrey Willans (4 February 1911 – 6 August 1958), an English author and journalist, is best known as the co creator, with the illustrator Ronald Searle, of Nigel Molesworth, the goriller of 3b and curse of St. Custard s . Molesworth… …   Wikipedia

  • Owen Willans Richardson — Sir Owen Willans Richardson (n. Dewsbury, Yorkshire, 26 de abril de 1879 – † Alton, Hampshire, 15 de febrero de 1959). Físico inglés. Estudió en la Universidad de Cambridge, graduándose en el Trinity College en 1900. Dn 1906 a 1914 fue profesor… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Richardson, Sir Owen Willans — ▪ British physicist born April 26, 1879, Dewsbury, Yorkshire, Eng. died Feb. 15, 1959, Alton, Hampshire  English physicist and recipient of the 1928 Nobel Prize for Physics for his work on electron emission by hot metals, the basic principle used …   Universalium

  • Richardson , Sir Owen Willans — (1879–1959) British physicist Richardson, the son of a woollen manufacturer from Dewsbury in the north of England, was educated at Cambridge University and at London University, where he became a DSc in 1904. He taught at Princeton in America… …   Scientists

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.