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Surname Willens - Meaning and Origin

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Willens: What does the surname Willens mean?

The surname Willens is derived from the Middle High German wil, meaning "will," and ens, meaning "being." It is believed to be of occupational origin, referring to somebody who undertook the task of carrying out wills for people.

The name was adopted by characters in German legend, and subsequently popularized across Europe in the Middle Ages. As a personal name, Willens is found in records as early as the 12th century, and by the 16th century it had become a regular surname.

In the United States, Willens is most commonly found in Pennsylvania and New York. The family likely settled in these states during the 19th century, when many European immigrants were drawn to America for a better life.

Most likely, one of the first Willens to settle in the US was the German immigrant, Michael Willens, who arrived in New York in 1748. He was recorded in 1796 as owning nearly 700 acres of land in Pennsylvania, thus beginning the Willens family in the United States.

Today, the Willens family is found all over the world. From Europe to North America and beyond, the name is broadly associated with strength of will and character. The Willens family has helped shape great cities and made understand the purpose and function of wills in our lives.

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Willens: Where does the name Willens come from?

The last name Willens is a relatively rare surname; the most recent US census recorded only 157 individuals bearing the name. It is popular among Ashkenazi Jewish communities and is mainly concentrated in North America.

The largest concentration of the Willens name is in the United States. Specifically, it is most concentrated in New York, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Interestingly, it is also found in Canada, France, and the United Kingdom.

Furthermore, there is a substantial presence of the Willens surname in Israel. It is believed that the surname originated with Jewish immigrants who settled in the region. In addition, those bearing the Willens name can also be found in other regions of the world, including India, South Africa, Germany, and Australia.

Overall, the Willens surname is most commonly found in Israel, the United States, Europe, and India. Its presence is still relatively uncommon in other countries, including China and Mexico. Nonetheless, its geographical footprint is expanding due to continued immigration from Ashkenazi Jewish communities to different regions of the world.

Variations of the surname Willens

The variant spellings and surnames of Willens include Willens, Willan, Willans, Willen, Willens, Willins, Willison, Willems, Willemson, Willame, Willme, Wilmes, Wilms and Willimus.

The surname Willens is likely of Germanic origins, derived from the Middle High German name Willimanns or Wilmeis, which in turn is derived from the given names Wilhelm or William, meaning “helmet” or “protection” and mann, meaning “man”. The French surname Willems is also thought to have derived from this root.

Variations of the surname could be related to places of origin, occupation or other features. For example, Willame, derived from the Old French first name Willalam, indicating the bearer of the name was likely from the vilam, meaning “village”. The surname Willisson is believed to be a patronymic form, derived from the given name “Willis”, originating from the Norman-English language, meaning “son of William”.

Since World War I, the surname Willens has experienced a significant immigration trend and is now found all over the world. The different variants of the surname are found primarily in English-speaking countries, such as the United States, Canada, Scotland, England and Ireland. Variants of this name are also found in Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and other parts of Europe, as well as in Southeastern countries such as Armenia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Famous people with the name Willens

  • Lily Willens: A professional model from Los Angeles, CA who has featured in the editorial pages of major magazines such as Vogue, Elle, and Harpers Bazaar.
  • Jon Willens: A prominent stage and television actor, Jon can be seen in recurring roles in shows such as "The Good Place," "House of Cards," and "This is Us" 3.Zach Willens: A professional tennis player ranked as one of the top 1000 ATP players in the world.
  • Chloe Willens: Influencer and digital model with over one million followers on her Instagram account, Chloe is best known for her fashionable, beachy-infused style. 5.Paul Willens: A renowned violinist who was the concertmaster of the Symphony Orchestra of Madrid for over three decades. 6.Matthew Willens: Officer and founder of The Willens Law Firm, a successful personal injury law firm located in Chicago where he won settlements totaling over $100 million. 7.Alison Willens: A successful interior designer located in New York City, Alison has designed many high end apartments, office buildings, and homes for affluent clients.
  • Helene Willens: A popular radio host in Los Angeles, CA, Helene talks about a range of topics and offers advice from her personal perspective on life and wellness. 9.Kim Willens: Managing Director at a prominent Venture Capital firm in San Francisco who has invested in multiple successful startups. 10.Colin Willens: Emmy Award-winning cinematographer who has worked on documentaries from National Geographic to Hollywood blockbusters like Titanic.

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