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Surname Willeken - Meaning and Origin

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Willeken: What does the surname Willeken mean?

The last name Willeken is a Dutch patronymic, originating from "Willeke", an Old Germanic male given name. Willeke itself is believed to derive from the Old High German word wil, meaning “desire”, and the Arabic influence in the Low Countries during the Middle Ages has added a couple of extra letters, so the name is spelled Willeke, and the suffix -en is a patronymic ending, indicating "son of Willeke". This means that the full name Willeken denotes the son of someone called Willeke.

The name Willeken is especially common in the Netherlands, where it is among the top 500 most common surnames. There are several Dutch families who carry this surname and there are also some branches further afield in Germany, Belgium, and the US. Bearing the same name often indicates a distant common ancestor, but unfortunately any further details are likely to be very hard to trace due to the passage of time.

It is interesting to note that the first record of the name Willeken is found in the year 1279, when a Dutch knight called Willeken van Uvellen was mentioned in a legal document from Gelderland. Since then, every single generation has seen people bearing the same name, lending credit to its long standing use in Dutch culture.

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Willeken: Where does the name Willeken come from?

The last name Willeken is most commonly seen in the Netherlands. It is derived from the Germanic personal name Willa, which means “will” or “determination”. This surname is particularly prominent in the Dutch provinces of Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland, Utrecht, Gelderland, Overijsel, and Brabant. It is also popular in areas of Belgium, Germany, and Austria, and even in some regions of France.

Generally, families with this surname are considered to be of Dutch heritage. Today, the Willeken surname has become much more widespread due to people with Dutch ancestry migrating to other countries around the world, including the United States. However, it is still common enough that it can be found in Netherlands cities, towns, and villages.

The Willeken surname can be found in a variety of spelling variations as well due to many historic records being recorded with language variations and phonetic spellings. For example, the surname is also spelled Wilkens, Willekens, Willkens, Wilkes, Wilkesen, Wilkezen, Wilkeson, and Wilckings.

Overall, the last name Willeken is most common in the Netherlands but has grown more widespread due to people with Dutch ancestry migrating to other areas around the world. It is also accompanied by several variations in spelling.

Variations of the surname Willeken

The surname Willeken has several variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin. Some of the most common variants of this surname are Wilken, Wielken, Willekens, Wilkiens, Wilkens, Wilkenson, Wilkins, Wilkisons, and Willecx.

The spelling Willeken is an alternative spelling of the old Dutch personal name Willeke, which is derived from the Old Germanic name Wilgin. Willeke is also the diminutive form of Wilhelmus, meaning ‘resolute protection’.

Variants of Willeken include Willeke, Wilkin, Wilkens, Wilkenson, Wilkins, Wilkison, and Willecx. Willeken is a spelling used primarily in the Dutch and Flemish-speaking parts of Belgium and the Netherlands while Wilkin and Wilkens are used more widely in the English language.

The most traditional rendering of the surname Willeken is found in the Netherlands as Wilkens. In the United States, the surname has evolved into more Anglicized forms, like Wilkins and Wilkenson.

Variants of the surname Willeken have also produced surnames of different origins, like Wilkiel and Wilkinsen. Wilkiel is derived from the Dutch personal name Wilke, which was derived from the German Wilgin; and Wilkinsen is derived from Wilken and was used primarily in the United States.

The spelling Willekens is also used interchangeably with Willeke, Wilkin, Wilkens, Wilkenson, and Wilkins in some parts of Europe, and Willecx was used primarily in the Netherlands and Belgium.

In summary, the surname Willeken has several variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin, including Wilken, Wielken, Willekens, Wilkiens, Wilkens, Wilkenson, Wilkins, Wilkisons, Willecx, Wilkiel, and Wilkinsen.

Famous people with the name Willeken

  • Nick Willeken: a former Major League Baseball pitcher for the Chicago Cubs.
  • Michael Willeken: a former NFL and CFL defensive end who played for the Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, Toronto Argonauts, and British Columbia Lions.
  • Arne Willeken: a former German footballer who played as a defender.
  • Dan Willeken: a former NASCAR Busch Series driver.
  • Thorsten Willeken: a former professional ice hockey player.
  • Pakk Willeken: a Dutch entrepreneur and politician.
  • Hannelore Willeken: a German voice actress, director and screenplay writer.
  • Antje Willeken: a German television personality, presenter, and former actress.
  • Caroline Willeken: a German political scientist, writer and media expert. 10.Hildegard Willeken: a German actress and voice actress.

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