Surname Willerton - Meaning and Origin
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Willerton: What does the surname Willerton mean?
The last name Willerton is an English surname derived from a combination of two Old English words, 'will'; meaning desire, and 'tūn'; meaning settlement. The name was most likely given to someone living near or owning a piece of land by the name of Willerton. This could be a place where people gathered or a place of work.
The earliest references found of the name date from as early as 1293, when a Roger de Willerton was recorded as a tenant on land in Lancashire, England.
Throughout the centuries, the bearers of the Willerton surname lived in a variety of places, such as Lancashire, Somerset, Dorset, Northumberland, Derbyshire, Herefordshire, and Cheshire.
In more recent years, the name has spread throughout the world, with this surname being found in the United States in places such as Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts and Utah.
Variations of the name, such as Willertone, Wilerton, Willarytone and Willerton, can be found throughout history.
There is no single, specific meaning behind the Willerton surname, but it is still a testament to family lineage and roots, and it still provides insight into the lives of those who bore that name centuries ago.
Willerton: Where does the name Willerton come from?
The last name Willerton is most common in the United Kingdom today, primarily in England. The distribution of this surname is highly concentrated and it is most commonly found in South East England, particularly around the counties Kent, East Sussex, Surrey and West Sussex. It is also popular in Devon, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.
This surname has long been associated with these areas, as several of those counties were known collectively as the Belt of Willerton – a metaphorical girdle or ring of villages originally centered around the town of Willerton. Here, a family known as the 'Willer' clan lived in Norman times.
The Willerton family is believed to have originated in Normandy, France and can be traced back to the Domesday Book of 1086. Records from the 19th and 20th centuries also indicate that the surname is strongly associated with agriculture and the rural way of life. The 1881 UK Census found that the surname was most common in Kent, where it was particularly well-known as the last name of many family-run farms.
Today, the surname continues to enjoy popularity among the families who have lived in the area for generations, as well as those who have moved to the area in more recent times.
Variations of the surname Willerton
The surname Willerton is believed to have derived from the Old English words “willen” and “tun”, meaning “willow-enclosure” or “willow settlement”. The mainly British surname has a few variations and spellings, including Willerton, Willartun, Willertun, Willyrton, and Wylerton. The Wilerton and Willerton spellings are the most common, while Willartun and Wylerton are less popular and more regional.
The variants of the surname Willerton include Willerton, Willorton, Willoughton, Willerston, Wellarrington, Walleter, Wellerton, and Welton. These names can be spelled in numerous ways, and there are many surnames that can be derived from the Willerton root name. For example, Willerton can also be spelled as “Willeton” and “Willeton”. Similarly, Willorton can also be spelled as “Willorten” and “Willerston” can also be spelled as “Willerstone”, “Willerexon”, and “Willereston”.
The surname Willerton is also known by the variations and spellings of Willartun, Willyrton, and Wylerton. These can be seen in different records, depending on the region or country. Willertun is the most common in the north of England. Willartun is more common in the south of England while Wylerton is a little rarer.
The Willerton surname can also be found among the variants of Wellarrington, Walleter, and Welton. These are more regional surnames which can be found mainly in the United Kingdom and North America. This list is not exhaustive, as people with the Willerton surname can also have other variations, spellings, and surnames.
Famous people with the name Willerton
- John Willerton: British actor, popularly known for his roles in the BBC series, 'The Two Ronnies'.
- Del Willerton: American racing driver, who competed in various major championship events across the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.
- Laura Willerton: British model, TV presenter and actress.
- Bob Willerton: Australian motorbike Grand Prix Champion.
- Richard Willerton: British television and radio presenter.
- Bill Willerton: British musician, best known for his post-punk band, The Creeps.
- Maxwell Willerton: British poet, writer and literary scholar.
- Karl Willerton: German-born American film director, best known for his movie Host.
- Clare Willerton: English-born former ballerina and television presenter.
- Virginia Willerton: American model and actress, best known for her roles in the 1980s soap operas, 'Dynasty' and 'General Hospital'.