Arrow Downward Arrow Downward Close Close Done Done Cart Cart clock clock
Personal guidance

We are always happy to help you! Contact us via e-mail or Whatsapp.

If you would like us to call you back, please provide your phone number and how you can be reached. We will be happy to call you for a personal consultation. WhatsApp

Surname Willem - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'W'

Willem: What does the surname Willem mean?

The last name Willem is of German origin, and is derived from the Germanic personal name Willahelm, derived from the elements "wil," meaning "will", and "helm," meaning "helmet".

The first known record of the name was of Willelmus de Parua in 1206 in Germany, but it is believed to have been in use before then. According to German tradition, the name was used to denote a determined or brave person, and was a popular given name in the Middle Ages. It was brought to England, where it was Anglicized to William.

Over time, the surname has spread to many other parts of the world, including the Netherlands, where it is spelled Willem. In Dutch, the name Willem is derived from the Dutch word ‘wil’ meaning ‘desire, will.’ From the Dutch, the name was taken to France, where it is spelled Guillaume. In English, the name has been further creolized to its current form of William. Whatever the spelling, the name retains its original meaning in any language, of a person with a determined and strong will, and is used as a given name throughout the world.

Order DNA origin analysis

Willem: Where does the name Willem come from?

Willem is a Dutch origin name derived from Germanic Wilhelmus, meaning ‘resolute protector’. It is most commonly seen in the Netherlands, Belgium and other Dutch speaking countries, such as Suriname. It is also seen in other parts of the world as a result of immigration and emigration.

The Netherlands is where the name Willem is most common, with it appearing frequently in Dutch records dating back to the Middle Ages. During this time, variant forms of Willem (such as Wilhelmus and Wilhelm) were recorded as first names and surnames. This is still the case today with Willem being a popular name in the Netherlands.

In Belgium, the spelling has changed over the centuries. As a result, what is now known as the name Willem used to be seen as Willeb, Willek, Willelm, and Willelt. Nevertheless, Willem remains a popular name in Belgium.

Apart from the Dutch speaking countries, Willem is also much used in Germany, particularly in the area of Westphalia and surrounding parts. In Germany, Willem usually appears as Wilhelm.

Outside of Europe, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, the Dutch influence is evident in the many Dutch settlers that brought the name to these countries in the mid-1800s. Willem is thus one of the many European names found in these countries.

In the United States, the name Willem is less common as there are fewer people of Dutch descent living there. However, the name is being used mainly by those with Dutch heritage, and it is gradually becoming more visible on the American landscape.

Overall, the name Willem is most common in Dutch speaking countries, particularly in the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as in Germany and some of the places it has been taken to by Dutch migrants.

Variations of the surname Willem

The surname Willem is an old Dutch patronymic name of Germanic origin, derived from the personal name 'Willem'. This name is in turn derived from the Germanic elements 'wil', meaning 'will or desire', and 'helm', meaning 'helmet or protection'. The variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin for Willem include:

Willemse: Dutch form of Willem

Willems: Dutch form of Willem, also found as Willemsin Dutch records

Willemsen: Dutch records of Willem

Wilm: Dutch form of Willem

Wylen: Dutch form of Willem

Wymes: early Dutch variant of Willem

Wyllemsen: Dutch form of Willem

Wyllem: Dutch form of Willem

Wÿllem: Dutch form of Willem

Willsem: Dutch form of Willem

Willames: Dutch form of Willem

Willams: English variant of Willem

Williamsen: Dutch form of Willem

Williamson: English variant of Willem

Willmott: English variant of Willem

Wilsom: English variant of Willem

Willamsen: Dutch form of Willem

Willman: Dutch form of Willem

Willmen: Dutch form of Willem

Willes: Dutch variant of Willem

Wileson: English variant of Willem

Willens: Dutch form of Willem

Wieles: Dutch form of Willem

Wielens: Dutch form of Willem

Wielemse: Dutch form of Willem

Willemeson: Dutch form of Willem

Willemson: Dutch form of Willem

Wylenzer: Dutch form of Willem

Willmers: Dutch form of Willem

Wylma: Dutch form of Willem

Wilmsen: Dutch form of Willem

Willm: Dutch form of Willem

Famous people with the name Willem

  • Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands: the King of the Netherlands, son of Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus and the first male monarch since 1890.
  • Willem Dafoe: The Academy Award-nominated American actor known for his roles in popular films such as Platoon, Spider-Man, and The Great Wall.
  • Willem de Kooning: The twentieth century Dutch-American abstract expressionist painter whose works are held in the collections of MOMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Getty Museum, and more.
  • Willem Kolff: The Dutch physician, researcher, and inventor who is considered the father of the dialysis machine and is the founder of the world’s first artificial organ program.
  • Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand: The Prince of Orange and the current King of the Netherlands as well as the Prince of Luxembourg.
  • Willem Jan J. Bijmans: The Dutch water polo player and Olympic gold medalist who also has an extensive career as a coach.
  • Willem de Rooij: The international, multi-disciplinary Dutch artist who often creates installations or performances that focus on his personal life.
  • Willem Janssen: The Dutch footballer who currently plays for the AFC Ajax.
  • Willem Bilderdijk: The Dutch poet, essayist, and classical scholar who is considered one of the greatest Dutch poets of the 19th century.
  • Willem van Aelst: The Dutch Baroque artist who is best known for his still-lifes.

Other surnames


Write comments or make additions to the name "Willem"

DNA Test Discount Today