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Surname Wills - Meaning and Origin

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A Fascinating Genetic Journey: Unveiling the Roots of the Surname Wills Through iGENEA DNA Test

I recently took an iGENEA DNA test, and the scientific findings were truly eye-opening. Extensive evidence pointed to my lineage stemming from various parts of the world, bringing light to the roots and evolution of the surname Wills. Through autosomal and paternal DNA analysis, I discovered a deep Celtic connection linked with the surname and an interesting mix of Eastern European and Scandinavian roots.

W. Wills

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Wills: What does the surname Wills mean?

The surname Wills is of English origin and means "son of William." It is derived from the popular medieval first name, William. This personal name is composed of two elements: "wil," meaning desire or will, and "helm," meaning helmet or protection. So, the personal name William essentially means "desire for protection." Names like Wills, Wilson, Williamson are patronymic surnames, meaning they were originally used to identify individuals based on their father's name. Over time, it became a family name passed down from generation to generation. It grew popular in many parts of England and Wales. This surname was also brought to America by early settlers and it spread across various regions of the country thereafter. Famous figures with this last name include the actor Chill Wills and various sports personalities like cricketer Bob Wills and basketball player Kevin Wills.

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Wills: Where does the name Wills come from?

The surname Wills originates from the Old Germanic personal name Will, meaning 'will' or 'desire', which was common among early Anglo-Saxon tribes. Over time, 'Will' became a patronymic surname (created from a father's given name) in England and Scotland, turning into Wills, Willis, or Wilson. In the Middle Ages, the name Wills was also common throughout the region of Cornwall, a duchy located in the southwestern tip of England.

Today, the surname Wills is most common in the United Kingdom, particularly in the South West of England around Devon and Cornwall, followed by the northeast around Tyne and Wear and Northumberland. The name is also common in the United States, where it ranks in the top 1,000 most common surnames. Australia is another country where the surname Wills is found fairly frequently. Despite these British and American concentrations, people with the surname Wills live in many countries around the world, making it a truly global family name.

Variations of the surname Wills

The surname Wills has variants and associated names which have evolved over time and vary by region. It is primarily of English origin.

The surname can also be found spelled as Will, Willis, Willes, and Wills. Additionally, it can be found as Willson or Wilson, as the name at times represents a contraction of "Will's son."

The name Wills may be a patronymic surname derived from the name William, a common first name during the Middle Ages. Variants of this surname, therefore, also include Williamson and Williams.

There are also surnames that sound similar but have different origins, such as Wells or Walls, that are occasionally confused with Wills.

In other cultures, the name can be found with slightly different pronunciations or spellings, such as the German surname Wille or Dutch surnames Willems or Willemsen. However, the etymology of these names may not be the same as the English "Wills."

It's important to remember that different families with the surname Wills may not share a common origin, as the name could have been independently derived in different locations.

Famous people with the name Wills

  • Mark Wills: An American country music artist.
  • Bob Wills: An American Western swing musician and songwriter.
  • Chill Wills: An American actor and a singer in the Western genre.
  • Maury Wills: A former American baseball player and manager.
  • Wills Hodgen: An accomplished contemporary dancer.
  • William John "Willie" Wills: A former professional footballer.
  • Alfred Wills: An English judge and a mountaineer.
  • Arthur Wills: An English composer, conductor, and organist.
  • Royal Barry Wills: A renowned American architect.
  • Thomas Wills: An Australian sportsman.
  • Helen Wills: An American tennis player.
  • Frederick Wills: A Guyanese diplomat.
  • Cindy Wills: An American actress.
  • William Wills, 1st Baron Winterstoke: An English businessman and philanthropist.
  • Smoky Joe Wood: Also known as "Joseph Wills Wood," an American baseball player.
  • Reverend Gary Davis: Also known as "Gary Wills Davis," an American blues and gospel singer and guitarist.
  • Freddie Solomon: Also known as "Freddie Wills Solomon," a former professional American football player.
  • Jean-Paul Marat: Also known as "Jean-Paul Wills Marat," a French political theorist, physician, and scientist.
  • Prince William, whose full name is William Arthur Philip Louis, is sometimes colloquially referred to as "Wills."

Other surnames

WillWillamWillamette Valley GS non-membersWillametteValleyGS membersWillandWillanderWillandsenWillandtWillansWillardWillauerWillbanksWillbernWillbertWillbertzWillboldWillbrandWillbrandtWillbrechtWillburnWillckeWillckensWillcocksWillcocksonWillcoxWillcoxsonWillcutsWillcuttWillczekWille

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