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Surname Watkinson - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'W'

Watkinson: What does the surname Watkinson mean?

The last name Watkinson is an English patronymic name, which means “son of Watkin”. It is believed that Watkin is an old diminutive form of Walter. The name was popular in the areas of Cheshire, Lancashire, Shropshire, and North Wales in the Middle Ages and is still common in those parts today.

The Watkinson family were and still are generally quite prosperous, as they have been skilled farmers, traders, and artisans, such as blacksmiths. Many also worked in the cotton industry in Lancashire in the 19th century, and others found employment in service and retail.

The Watkinson family crest has a variety of designs, but most commonly it features a red lion rampant on a blue shield, sometimes with a gold border. This symbol is associated with nobility, bravery, strength, and leadership, which was likely reflective of the character and status of the Watkinson family in the past as well as today.

At its core, the Watkinson family name signifies hard work, ambition, and resilience. The Watkinson family has a long and proud history, not only surviving their homeland but also adapting and growing in each new place they inhabited.

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Watkinson: Where does the name Watkinson come from?

The last name Watkinson is most commonly seen today in the United States and Canada, and a few other countries in Europe. It is especially frequent in England and Wales, where it was recorded in the 1881 census over 510 times. The Watkinson surname originated in the north of England, likely in either Lancashire or Yorkshire. It is an occupational name; it is derived from "Watkin," which was a medieval, normalized form of Wat, a nickname derived from Walter.

In the United States, Watkinson is the 13,868th most common surname according to the US Census. Watkinson is most commonly found in the Northeast, in states such as New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. There is also a large presence in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan. Recent studies estimate a population between 5,000 and 10,000 Watkinsons living in the United States.

In Canada, Watkinson is much rarer with between 200 and 300 recorded in the 2006 Census by Statistics Canada. Most of this population is likely concentrated in the Toronto area, with some concentrations in western provinces such as Alberta and British Columbia.

The Watkinson name is fairly common in the English-speaking world but rare in many parts of the world. For example, in South Africa the name is quite scarce, and less than 500 people have the name according to the South African Department of Home Affairs. It is also rare in most of continental Europe with fewer than 500 people in France, Germany, and Italy combined.

Variations of the surname Watkinson

Watkinson is a popular surname throughout the English-speaking world, with many variant spellings. Most of the variants are phonetic variations, and some may have been misspellings added by mistake to records over the years. The most common variations of this surname include Watkinson, Waterson, Watinson, Wattkinson, Wasson, Wasson, Wathson, Wathon, Wastan, Wathsin, Woddleson, and Wodson. It is also possible that spellings with a second “t” may have been used historically, although this is not as common.

The surname has its origins in Old French, where the term “watkinson” means “possessor of a farmstead”. It is thought to have been first used by a Norman family in the 12th century as a mark of their land-owning status. Over the centuries, the surname has spread to other countries, including the United States and Australia.

Surnames derived from Watkinson can also be found under variations such as Wattison, Watson, Watsons, Wattys, Wattyson, Watsonson, Wauson, Wodson, and Wodesson. All these spellings and variations are derived from the original surname and its many ancestors and branches.

In some cases, the spelling of Watkinson might have been adapted and adapted to local languages. For example, in Scotland, the name could be spelled “Wotkinson” or “Wottinson”. In Ireland, it could be spelled “Watkinsin” and in Scandinavian countries, it could be spelled “Vatkinson”.

Overall, the Watkinson surname is a popular one with a long and varied history, and all these spellings and variants likely have their roots in the same place.

Famous people with the name Watkinson

  • Russell Watkinson: English actor and writer best known for his role as Roy Cleeves in the UK soap opera Brookside.
  • Jann Watkinson: Canadian curler, four-time Canadian women's curling champion (1995, 1996, 1997 and 1999).
  • Jim Watkinson: former English footballer who played as a midfielder, mostly for Crewe Alexandra.
  • Jack Watkinson: English professional rugby league footballer who played for St Helens, Widnes Vikings and Warrington.
  • Holly Watkinson: a British rower who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
  • Sir Christopher Watkinson: a British educationalist and former headmaster of Eton College
  • Danielle Watkinson: an English actress, known for her roles in Hollyoaks, Doctors, Byker Grove and Babymother.
  • Hannah Watkinson: English lawyer known for her activism in family law and human rights.
  • Nick Watkinson: the permanent secretary of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
  • Frank Watkinson: a New Zealand politician representing the Labour Party.

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