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Surname Wille - Meaning and Origin

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Navigating My Past: Surprising Viking Lineage and Unexpected Scandinavian Roots behind My Surname Wille Revealed by IGENEA DNA Test

As I unraveled my IGENEA DNA test results, the surprise was evident. A sudden introduction to my Viking lineage coupled with the unexpected Scandinavian origins of my surname, Wille, opened up an unanticipated pathway into my past.

F. Wille

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Wille: What does the surname Wille mean?

The surname Wille has its origins from Northern Europe, particularly in the countries of Germany and Sweden, and is ultimately derived from Old Norse and Old High German. Its roots are in several words, such as ‘wilian’ (German) meaning to resolve or decide, or ‘viljan’ (Scandinavian) meaning will or desire. It is believed to describe a person of great strength of will or courage.

Over time, Wille has been adopted in the countries of Holland, Belgium, France and Luxembourg and also in the United States of America. It has also taken on variants such as Willen, Willette, Willeard, Wily and Widdowfield.

As a given name, Wille has been associated with several famous people, such as novelist Sara Wille, football player Kim Wille, actor Martin Wille and witchman Hermann Wille.

The surname Wille also has a distinguished history, as described in the Kintses of Maryland book (All Families and Persons who have borne the name Kintz or Kinds since 1750). It is believed that one of the earliest families to bear the name Wille and migrate to America in the late 1700’s was that of Michael Wille, who settled in Maryland and is recorded as having children by the name of William, George, Thomas and John.

So overall, the last name Wille carries with it many suggestions of strength and fortitude, a testament to the power of the human spirit.

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Wille: Where does the name Wille come from?

The surname Wille is most common in the German-speaking countries of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In Germany, the surname is relatively widespread throughout the country, with a particular concentration in the northwestern region of North Rhine-Westphalia. Southeast of North Rhine-Westphalia, there is a hotbed of the surname in the former Free Imperial City of Augsburg, where it is ranked among the 50 most common surnames in the city.

In Austria, the surname is most commonly found in the eastern state of Burgenland. The city of Eisenstadt, the capital of Burgenland, is particularly rich in Wille families, and the name ranks among the top ten surnames in the city.

In Switzerland, Wille is most common in the northwestern canton of Basel-Stadt. Here too, the surname is among the most frequently appearing, ranking within the top ten in several cities and towns in Basel-Stadt. Additionally, the surname is found throughout the country in both German- and French-speaking cantons, appearing with low to moderate frequency in several areas.

In Europe, the surname Wille is also found in Belgium, Luxembourg, and small portions of the Netherlands, Italy, and France. Outside of Europe, the surname has spread to other countries across the world as a result of emigration from Europe. In the United States and Canada, for example, the surname is generally localized to states and provinces with populations of German ancestry, such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Ontario, and Alberta.

Variations of the surname Wille

The surname Wille is a German name, meaning “one who is from a William”. Its variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin include Willey, Willy, Willi, Willem, Willemse, Willems, Wilms, Willms, Wilm, and Wilken.

Wille is a patronymic surname, which means it is derived from the given name of the father. In this case, the name is derived from the Germanic personal name William. William is derived from the Old German name Willahelm, which is formed out of two elements, ‘willo’ (desire) and ‘helm’ (helmet or protection).

The name was popularized by the Normans, who brought it to Britain following their conquest in 1066. From here the name spread to other parts of Europe and became quite popular during the Middle Ages.

Variants of Wille include the English Willy and Willey, the Dutch Willem and Willemse, and the German Wilm, Willms, and Wilken.

In the United States, variants of this surname include Will, Lily, and Willie.

While Wille has German origins, many other languages feature versions of this surname. In French, Willy is sometimes spelled Vilmer, while in Spanish and Portuguese it becomes Guillermo, Gilling, Gimenez, and Gilmar.

In some cases, variants of the surname Wille, such as Willy and Willey, have been incorporated into given names as well.

No matter which form of Wille is used, it remains a popular surname that has origins in Germany but has spread to countries all over the world.

Famous people with the name Wille

  • Alexa Wille: Alexa Wille is a young German actress from Hamburg, Germany. She's starred in many films, including Everything Will Be Fine (2013) and Herrliche Zeiten im Spessart (2018).
  • Francis Wille: Francis Wille is a French doubles badminton player from France who has won several international titles. He is also a two-time Olympian and competed in the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics.
  • Karen Wille: Karen Wille is an American artist who creates abstract paintings, mosaics, and sculptures. Her work has been exhibited in classics across the United States, including the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • Lilli Wille: Lilli Wille is a German equestrian who represented her country as a show jumper at numerous international competitions, including the European Championships in Padua, Italy, in 2019.
  • Frigg Wille-Jørgensen: Frigg Wille-Jørgensen is a Norwegian businesswoman and entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of the renewable energy company Green Energy Transition.
  • Kevin Wille: Kevin Wille is a German voice actor. He is known for dubbing international films and television series in German, most notably his roles as Quill Backus in the Fox series Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
  • Märtha Wille: Märtha Wille is a Swedish sports shooter who has won several medals in international competitions. She is the current world record holder for the women's 25m pistol event, which she set in 2014.
  • Per-Olav Wille: Per-Olav Wille is a Norwegian actor who has appeared in several Norwegian films and television series, including Blue Eyes (2014) and 1864 (2014).
  • Shafali Verma Wille: Shafali Verma Wille is an Indian cricketer who plays for India's national women's team. She is the youngest Indian cricketer to ever be signed to the Indian Premier League.

Other surnames

WillWillamWillamette Valley GS non-membersWillametteValleyGS membersWillandWillanderWillandsenWillandtWillansWillardWillauerWillbanksWillbernWillbertWillbertzWillboldWillbrandWillbrandtWillbrechtWillburnWillckeWillckensWillcocksWillcocksonWillcoxWillcoxsonWillcutsWillcuttWillczekWillebrand

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