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Surname Willans - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'W'

Willans: What does the surname Willans mean?

The last name Willans is a patronymic or surname that originates from the medieval personal name “Will” or “Willa”. Thus, Willans could be translated to mean “son of Will.”

The origin of the name itself can be traced back to Old Germanic elements, as “Will” was a common masculine name in various Germanic languages. It remains a common name in some cultures to this day, and is derived from the Germanic “will”, meaning “resolve” or “determination.”

Willans is known to be a popular surname in the United Kingdom, with a high concentration of people with the last name located in England. Although the exact time of the first records of Willans in the United Kingdom is unclear, records of the name’s usage dates back to the late 16th century.

Today, the last name Willans is most commonly found in English-speaking countries as a result of the descendants of those who had the surname when they emigrated from Britain to other countries.

The origins of the Willans surname tell a story of a determination and a drive that have been passed on over the centuries and are now continued by the people who live with the last name today.

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Willans: Where does the name Willans come from?

The last name Willans is most common today in England. According to surname distribution data from, Willans is the 2,922nd most common surname in England. Other English-speaking countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States also have a percentage of people that carry the name.

Willans is a habitational surname, and usually comes from a place. The most likely origin of Willans is a region of East Riding Yorkshire where a succession of families took on this name. It is likely that they were originally descended from a larger family who in turn took the name of the place where they resided.

In some cases, Willans is derived from the Middle English "willen", meaning "to desire". If this is the case, the surname could be personal name from early medieval times.

The most frequent and historically well documented coat of arms for the Willans family of East Riding is blazoned as follows: Or a cross purpure between four lozenges gules. The colours used in the arms are gold, red and purple. This coat of arms has been associated with the Willans family since at least the time of the English Civil War.

Overall, the last name Willans has a long and proud history. It is still relatively popular in England and is also found in other English-speaking countries around the world.

Variations of the surname Willans

The surname Willans is derived from the name William, also spelt as Willelm or Willem, and is widely believed to have originated in France. The earliest known examples of this surname appear in the 12th century with some sources suggesting a Norman ancestry.

The variant spellings for this surname include Willan, Willam, Willin, Willims, Willion, Willson, Willams, Wills, Willsen, Wilm, Willdan, Willson, Willdin, Willesen and Wilens.

In some cases, the surname Willans has become altered or corrupted over the centuries due to regional dialects and immigration. These variations include Willcocks, Wilcox, Wilce, Willcock, Wilkens, Wilkins, Wilcus, Wilkes, Wilkeson, Wilman, Wilmot, Wilsham, Wilshier, Wilsham and Wilshire.

The surname Willans can also be found under other patronymic surnames, which are names derived from a father’s given name. Examples of these include Willanovich, Willostov, Willovitski, Willton, Wilmsen, Willysen, Wilmeson, Wilmor, Wilhousen, Willer, Willburger, Wilkers, Wilkerson, Willen, Willmar, Wilmot, Wilcws and Willemsen.

Finally, the surname Willans can also be found in other ethnic variants such as the Welsh name Gwillan or the Dutch surname Willemse.

Famous people with the name Willans

  • Matthew Willans: an English former cricketer who represented Essex and played in the County Championship during the early 1990s.
  • Monica Willans: an Australian soccer player of Tokelauan descent and is the current captain of Adelaide United FC's W-League side.
  • Douglas Willans: an English physicist who has contributed to the field of theoretical particle physics and quantum field theory.
  • Gemma Willans: an English actress, best known for her roles in the stage production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and in the film, The Imitation Game.
  • Chris Willans: a professional cricketer who currently plays for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League.
  • Louise Willans: a British Paralympic Nordic skier who competed in the 1982, 1986 and 1994 games, and who recently retired.
  • Georgina Willans: an English actress who is best known for her portrayal of Dr. Karissa Manners in the long-running British medical drama, Casualty.
  • Lori Willans: an American bestselling author and lifestyle design mentor, best known for her New York Times and USA Today bestselling books, Dare: Escape the Rat Race and Live with Purpose and She Plans.
  • David Willans: an English stand-up comedian, actor and writer who is best known for his comedy series, Misfit Toys.
  • Ryan Willans: a former professional surfer who is the first person of Australian Aboriginal descent to compete on the World Professional Surfing Tour.

Other surnames

WillamWillamette Valley GS non-membersWillametteValleyGS membersWillandWillanderWillandsenWillandtWillardWillauer

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