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Surname Willerding - Meaning and Origin

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Willerding: What does the surname Willerding mean?

The last name Willerding is a patronymic surname, which means that it was most likely derived from the personal name Willehard. Willehard is an old German name composed of two elements - ‘wille’ meaning will, desire, determination, and ‘hard’ meaning brave, strong. This suggests that someone with the surname Willerding is likely to be determined and strong-willed.

The surname was originally found in Bavaria, a state in the south of Germany, though it has since spread throughout other European countries with Germanic influences including Switzerland, Denmark, Austria, and the Netherlands.

The surname has also found its way to other countries, including the United States. This could be thanks to the numerous waves of German immigrants in the 1800s and 1900s, who brought the name and its meaning to other countries.

Today, Willerding is a common surname, especially in countries with Germanic influence. It is likely that in some cases, the meaning of the name has been lost over time, as languages and cultures evolve and change. However, the meaning of ‘will’ and ‘hard’ suggests that those bearing the name Willerding could have a determined, strong-willed character.

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Willerding: Where does the name Willerding come from?

The Willerding surname is most common today in Germany. It is a very old surname, reported to have been used since the 13th century, though its earliest recorded use in Germany dates to the year 1498. The name was derived from a Middle High German personal name, composed of two elements: willer meaning "will, desire, wish" and ding meaning "thing, action, state".

The Willerding surname is most common within the southwestern area of Germany, including the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Baden-Wurttemberg. It is also found in the nearby countries of Switzerland, Netherlands, and France. The name is extremely rare outside of these areas.

In North America, the Willerding surname is most common in the United States. It is estimated that there are at least several thousand individuals with this surname living in the United States today. Most of them are descendants of immigrants from the German-speaking countries who came to the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries.

There is also a significant number of individuals with the Willerding surname living in Canada, as well as a few scattered families in South America and Australia. However, the name is not nearly as widespread outside of Germany and the United States.

Variations of the surname Willerding

Willerding is a German surname and has many variants and spellings due to the migrations of people in the late 19th and early 20th century. Common variants are Wilerding, Willerden, Willerdin, Wilharding, Wilharden, Wilhardin, Welerding, Welerden, Welerdin, Welharding, Welharden, Welhardin, Wilhelmding, Wilhelmden, Wilhelmdin, Wilhelmding, Wilhelmdin, Wilhelmharding, Wilhelmharden, Wilhelmhardin and Welhelmding.

The origin of the surname is from the Germanic language where the root of the name is “wil” meaning ‘will’ and “hard” meaning strong or powerful. The name can also mean ‘resolute’ and ‘the strength of will’ which is why it is thought to have been associated with successful merchants, soldiers and political figures.

Variations of the surname are also found in Poland, where it is spelled as Wiyłerdzi. It is also found in Scandinavia where the variations Viljard, Vilhard and Vilharde appear. In the Netherlands, the name is spelled Willereding and Willereden, while in Luxembourg it is Wilerdingen. In Spain and Latin America, the variant willerdon is used, while Willersdorff is used in Austria and Willard is used in England.

The surname Willerding can also be found in Middle Eastern countries such as Turkey and Iran where it is written as Velleredin, Verdeladin or Vılden.

Famous people with the name Willerding

  • Fritz Willerding (1885: 1975), freight railway worker, photographer, and conservationist in the Black Forest region of Germany.
  • Melville Willerding (1907-1971), American football and basketball coach.
  • William Willerding, Jr. (1917-1995), American chemist and professor at Xavier University.
  • Dieter Willerding (1938-2020), German philosopher and neurophysiologist.
  • Frederic Willerding (1963-2017), Swiss-American jazz pianist.
  • Hans-Henning Willerding (born 1975), German mathematician and professor at the University of Osnabrück.
  • Todd Willerding (born 1988), American-Israeli tennis player.

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