Surname Willsheere - Meaning and Origin
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Willsheere: What does the surname Willsheere mean?
The surname Willsheere is of medieval English origin, with records of the name dating back to the late 12th century. It is an occupational name for a maker of knives, swords or other edged weapons. The name is derived from the Middle English term “will” which means a hunting knife; and “sheer,” meaning to cut. This hints to the fact that a person bearing this name may have been employed in the weapons industry; making and selling knives and swords.
The family name is generally thought to have originated from Nottinghamshire in England and seems to have migrated to the county of Wiltshire during the 13th century; although some records have been found in other regions across Britain. The name can be seen on various records still held in Britain, but some descendants of the line have since moved to other counties and countries.
The surname is still common throughout Britain today and continues to be an interesting piece of history and a reminder of the skill and craftsmanship necessary to produce weaponry in centuries gone by. Its meaning is a reminder of the hard work and creativity of many of our ancestors who forged the foundations of modern Britain.
Willsheere: Where does the name Willsheere come from?
The last name Willsheere is not a particularly common last name today. Records suggest that the name originated in the United Kingdom, particularly in Hampshire, where it has been found as far back as the 14th century. It is thought that the name is derived from the Old English phrase ‘willesheer’, meaning ‘willow-tree woodland’.
The most common geographical area for the name today is around Hampshire and the south-eastern region of England, where the name continues to be popular. There are also a handful of the name to be found around Merseyside in the north-west of England.
The name Willsheere can also be found in other regions of the United Kingdom including Wales, Scotland and Ireland, as well as in the United States. The United States Census stated that, in the year 2000, just over 1000 individuals had the name Willsheere listed as their last name. It is possible that some of these individuals originated from the United Kingdom, and some may even be directly descended from those that can be found listed in the Hampshire tax records of the 14th century.
While the last name Willsheere is far from common today, those that do carry the name in the United Kingdom and the United States can take pride in their ancestry, bolstered by the knowledge that their family dates back hundreds of years.
Variations of the surname Willsheere
The surname Willsheere is an English surname with multiple spellings and variants. According to the internet Surname Database, other spellings for this surname include Wilshere, Wilshire, Wilshier, Willsher, Walesheer, Welsher, Walsheer, and Willshire.
The surname is thought to have come from Old English, where 'Wil' means desire and 'shyr' means boundary or edge. As such, the literal meaning of this surname is 'desire boundary', which makes sense when you consider that 'will' is the term for the legal declaration of a person's wishes. The surname may have been used to denote someone who lived in a border area or was a protector of a boundary.
The surname Willsheere was mainly found in the 16th and 17th centuries in the counties of Hampshire and Wiltshire in England. It spread to other parts of the UK after the Industrial Revolution when many people moved away from rural areas and into the cities.
Today, the surname is still found mainly in the UK, but you can also find it in other parts of the world, such as the United States and Canada, where it has been taken by emigrants. The Wilshere spelling of the surname is also found in Australia. Although the early spellings of the surname were predominantly Willsheere, Wilshere has become the predominant spelling in modern times.
Famous people with the name Willsheere
- Henry Willsheere: An English sculptor best known for his works depicting birds and animals.
- Warren Willsheere: An American actor, director, and screenwriter.
- Andrew Willsheere: An English entrepreneur in the entertainment industry.
- Thomas Willsheere: An English actor known for his roles on stage and screen.
- Joanne Willsheere: An American actress and director.
- Richard Willsheere: An English actor known for his roles in horror films.
- William Willsheere: An English actor known for his roles in period dramas.
- Stephen Willsheere: An English novelist and playwright.
- Arthur Willsheere: An English artist known for his watercolor paintings.
- Julia Willsheere: An American singer-songwriter and musician.