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Surname Willandsen - Meaning and Origin

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Willandsen: What does the surname Willandsen mean?

The last name Willandsen is of Scandinavian origin. It is derived from two old Norse words: “vil” meaning “will” and “and” meaning “son”. Together, these two words form the last name of Willandsen, which essentially is a patronymic surname that translates to mean “son of will” or “son of determination”.

Further digging into the historical roots of the last name Willandsen reveals it to be an occupational surname, introduced by Scandinavian immigrants who worked as farmhands or stable helpers for landowners. This is evidenced by the fact that the name Willandsen was first documented during the Middle Ages in the area known as Skane, which was then part of the Kingdom of Denmark and is now known as the modern-day province of Skåne in Sweden.

The last name Willandsen is popular among many countries today, particularly in Scandinavia. It is thought that the people with the last name of Willandsen tend to be self-motivated, independent and strong-willed, which admirers agree is likely due to their ancestors’ determination to make a better life for themselves and their family in a strange and unfamiliar place. In modern times, Willandsens are often found in business or entrepreneurism as well as other fields that require a high degree of resilience and grit.

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Willandsen: Where does the name Willandsen come from?

The last name Willandsen is relatively uncommon, and is most often found in Scandinavia and its surrounding areas. This name belongs to a patronymic system, which is common in Scandinavian countries and is used to link men to their fathers. In this system, sons and daughters take the surname of their father, adding “-sen” or “-son” onto the end in most cases. This lends to the Willandsen name being relatively concentrated in that part of the world, with the highest concentration of this specific surname being found in Denmark.

As for the other locations around the globe that host Willandsens, there are probably fewer than 500 people with this name located outside Scandinavia, spread in smaller concentrations throughout Germany, Russia, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. In the United States and Canada, it is believed that the surname was first brought along by immigrants. The earliest occurrences of those immigrants’ names can be found in as early as the 1800s, although in fewer numbers than we see today.

Willandsen remains a largely Scandinavian-based name, and is still most common in northern Europe. However, the increased levels of immigration to the United States and Canada in the past few centuries have helped to spread the name throughout the world. With a population of less than 1000 people present around the globe, this name still retains its uniqueness and rarity in comparison to other more familiar last names.

Variations of the surname Willandsen

Willandsen is a patronymic surname derived from the given name Willand (Willem or Guilhelme in French or Latin). The variants, spellings and surnames of this origin includes: Willand, Willandes, Willands, Willandsen, Willant, Willet, Willett, Willetesen, Willetsen, Willit, Willitt, Willitts, Wilmet, Wilmett, Wilmott, Wilmottesen, Wilmotts, Wilnot, Wilott, Willotesen, Willotts, Willumb, Willyott, Wilnet, Wilyot, Wilyott, Wilbut, Wilbuts, Willbum, Willbums, and Vilens.

In Scandinavia, the two main forms of the surname were Willandsen featured mainly in Denmark and Willand in Norway. In Germany, forms of the name such as Willandt were widely used. In France, the most common form was Villain and others such as Guillemet, Wilmotte, Wily, Willy and Willermet were also found. In Britain, the name Willmot was featured in Midlands, West of England, North of England and Scotland. In Canada, the variants Willamont, Wilemot and Wilmot were common.

In the United States, the surname is mostly found as Willmott and Willmet with some isolated cases of Willots, Willmott, Wilmett, Willumb and Willands. The main spelling of Willandsen appears to be more concentrated in Canada and in the United States, however they are still present in smaller numbers throughout the world.

Famous people with the name Willandsen

  • Bruce Willandsen: Bruce is a professional poker player and a two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner.
  • Henrik Willandsen: Henrik is an ice skater from Denmark, and he won the bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Kiki Willandsen: Kiki is a professional snowboarder from Denmark, and she won the gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
  • Trine Willandsen: Trine is a Danish tennis player, and she was ranked as the number 25 player in the world.
  • Peter Willandsen: Peter is a Danish cyclist, and he won a bronze medal in the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.
  • Anna Willandsen: Anna is a Danish swimmer, and she won a gold medal in the 2010 European Aquatics Championships.
  • Yvonne Willandsen: Yvonne is a Danish judoka, and she won a gold medal at the 2018 European Judo Championships.
  • Martin Willandsen: Martin is a Danish football player, and he was selected as the Player of the Year in the 2011 Danish Superliga.
  • Carl Willandsen: Carl is a Danish footballer, and he was the captain of the Denmark national team from 1996 to 2003.
  • Lene Willandsen: Lene is a Danish actress, and she won the Danish Film Critics Award in 2011 for her performance in The Door.

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