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Surname Willison - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'W'

Willison: What does the surname Willison mean?

The last name Willison is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is derived from the Old English personal name Wilgis, which means “one who desires peace”. It is the Medieval form of the name William. The name is found most commonly in the English speaking countries of the UK, Australia, Canada, and the United States.

The Willison surname likely originated in the tenth or eleventh century when the Old English name Wilgis was transformed into the Middle English form Willi. This surname was later developed into the forms Willieson, Williesin, Willyson, and Wilsone.

The Willison family originated in Northeastern England and would later move between England, Ireland, Scotland, and the United States. The surname is particularly common in Yorkshire, Scotland, and Southwestern England.

Willison family members have a reputation of resourcefulness and intelligence. Many Willisons achieved financial success in businesses related to commerce, industry, and the professions. They’ve also made respected contributions to the fields of science, education, athletics, politics, and the military.

The Willison family is an experienced and diverse group united by a common purpose: to achieve success while striving for peace.

Willison: Where does the name Willison come from?

The last name Willison is commonly found in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In the United States, it is most prevalent in Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

Willison is an anglicised version of the Gaelic name MacUilleasain, which comes from the personal name Uilleas, or William. The surname was first recorded in Scotland in the 13th century, and was popularised by medieval clans such as the Siol Uilleim and Clan MacUilleasain, whose territories included the Isle of Mull and portions of Menteith, Perthshire, Benbecula, and Skye.

In Australia, the name Willison first arrived in the early 1800’s on the convict ships originating in Britain and Ireland. Today, there is a good-sized Willison diaspora, with some of the most popular regional locations being Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland.

In Canada, Willison is most common in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. It could have arrived in any of the three provinces prior to the Confederation of Canada in 1867, or subsequently via emigration from Britain, the United States, or Australia.

The name is still found in the United Kingdom and Ireland today, and in fact, the highest density of the last name Willison is found in Ireland’s County Galway. In the United States, its highest densities are in Arkansas and Missouri, while in Canada, it’s in Ontario. In addition, it is found in parts of New Zealand and in several European countries, including the Netherlands, France, and Germany.

Variations of the surname Willison

The surname Willison has a variety of different variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin. These include Willisson, Willsen, Willizon, Willyson, Willieson, Willsan, Willasen, and Willicombe.

Willison is a patronymic surname, and is a variation of the name William, which is derived from the Old Germanic name Wilhelm, which is composed of two elements. The first element is "wil" meaning "will" or "desire," and the second element is "helm" meaning "helmet" or "protection." Thus, the name essentially means "determined protector."

The surname has a wide distribution and is found in many European countries, including Great Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, and Norway. In English-speaking countries, the name may be pronounced either as Will-i-son or Willie-son.

In Scotland there are many variants and forms of the name, with some spellings featuring an extra 'e' in the middle, such as Willieson and Willesen. The Willicombe spelling appears to have originated in the early 19th century in England. The surname can also be found as Willis in some parts of the United States, Canada, and Australia.

Willison is an old English patronymic surname, which means descendant or son of William, or son of the determined protector. The surname is still in use in countries around the world today, proudly reflecting the ancestry of its bearers.

Famous people with the name Willison

  • Kit Willison: British Instagram influencer.
  • Clifford Willison: Canadian professional footballer.
  • Harold Willison: British actor.
  • Katrina Willison: New Zealand documentary maker and photographer.
  • Ellen Willison: American author and activist.
  • Margot Willison: Canadian television producer.
  • Gavin Willison: Explorer, adventurer and author.
  • Renadin Willison: Zimbabwean Olympic swimmer.
  • Guy Willison: British composer and music producer.
  • Rob Willison: Canadian film director and editor.

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