Surname Willingham - Meaning and Origin
all surnames with 'W'
Willingham: What does the surname Willingham mean?
The surname Willingham is of Anglo-Norman origin and is found mainly in England. The name is derived from the Old English personal name Willa, plus the Old English word haminga, which means homestead. Over time, the spelling of the surname has changed, with Willingham being one of the more common variations.
While the exact origin of the name is unknown, it is likely that it originated in a small village in Nottinghamshire, England that was recorded as early as the 12th century as Wilingaham. It then spread further with Anglo-Norman families that settled in other parts of England.
Today the surname Willingham is fairly widespread throughout England and is also found in other parts of the world, including the United States. It is particularly popular in the south-eastern-most portion of Britain. People who hold this surname tend to be very hard-working, independent, and capable of taking on any task they set their minds to.
Overall, the surname Willingham is a proud one that has a long and distinguished history. Its members have often been among the first pioneers to move into new lands and its members continue to be a force in any movement for positive change. The sense of independence and determination to make things happen are traits that can be traced directly back to the origin of the name.
Willingham: Where does the name Willingham come from?
The last name Willingham is most common in the United States today, particularly in the South. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Willingham ranks in the top 900 most common surnames in the country. It is most concentrated in Georgia and Alabama, with numbers in those two states making up about 31 percent of the population who bears the name today. Other states with a notable portion of the population with the last name Willingham include Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.
In Georgia and Alabama, the surname is concentrated in specific areas, including Autauga, Lowndes and Montgomery counties in Alabama and Appling, Decatur and Pierce County in Georgia. In the 1830s, many Willingham’s migrated from Georgia to Alabama, likely due to the abundance of work at sawmills and lumberyards. This explains why the last name is most popular in this region.
The Willingham name can also be found across the globe in a few other countries, including Jamaica, Canada, Australia, England, Haiti, Ireland, Scotland and Peru. However, the overall population of people bearing the name is much smaller in these countries compared to the U.S.
Variations of the surname Willingham
The surname Willingham is derived from the Old English “Wilingaham” meaning “willow homestead”. It is an English surname found mainly in the Midlands as well as the North of England. Variants spellings of this surname include Willamson, Willimson, Willamson, Willemse, Willems, Welham, Wilsingham, and Wilesingham.
In some parts of England, the surname Willingham has several alternate spellings as well. The alternate spellings are Willamson, Willims, Willymse, Wyllemse, Willems, Willemse, Welum, Wilinggam, Wilingham, and Wilinghamme.
Other surnames which have the same origin as Willingham are Wilkines, Wilshingham, Willkins, Willkings, Wilkinsons, Wilkisson, Wilkerson, Wilkason, Wilkster, and Wilkeson.
One of the more unusual variations of this surname is Willsingaim, which is found in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The various spellings of Willingham can be found in other countries as well, such as Weilham in parts of Germany, Villengani in Italy, Telharmon in Denmark, and Wilinko in Poland. In American records, the surname may often be seen in the form Willihan or Wilithen.
In short, the surname Willingham has multiple variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin, including Willamson, Willims, Wyllemse, Willems, Willemse, Welum, Wilinggam, Wilingham, Wilinghamme, Wilkines, Wilshingham, Willkins, Willkings, Wilkinsons, Wilkisson, Wilkerson, Wilkason, Wilkster, Wilkeson, Willsingaim, Weilham, Villengani, Telharmon, and Wilinko.
Famous people with the name Willingham
- Curt Willingham- American baseball pitcher/outfielder who had two stints in Major League Baseball from 1967-1975.
- Tommy Willingham- Former American college football (wide receiver) player and head coach.
- Matthew Willingham- American race car driver who competed in the NASCAR Cup Series from 1999-2005.
- Laura Willingham- American TV and film actress, best known for her role as Deputy Jennifer Jane in the comedy-drama TV series, Reno 911!
- Brian Willingham- American musician from Houston, TX, best known for writing and performing the opening song on Home Improvement, “On the Road in the Groove”.
- Keith Willingham- American actor who is best known for his role as Nick Sabin in the soap opera, Loving.
- Kevin Willingham- American football player who played professional football in the Arena Football League from 1991-2004.
- Barry Willingham- American musician, songwriter and producer who recorded and toured with the group Mavericks from 1990-2008.
- Rod Willingham- American former professional baseball player who played in Major League Baseball from 1983-1986.
- David Willingham- American musician, author and multi-instrumentalist from Atlanta, GA, best known for his work with the band Rogers and Willingham.