This interesting surname, with variant spellings Wilkinson, Wilkenson, Wilkennson, Wilkens, and Wilkins, is a patronymic of the medieval given name "Wilkin", a short form of the personal name "Will" (itself coming from the diminutive of the Norman personal name William), with the addition of the hypocoristic suffix "kin". The surname dates back to the early 14th Century (see below). Further recordings include one Thomas Wilkynson (1332), in the Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland, and Adam Wylkynson (1379, in the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire. Recordings from London Church Registers include the marriage of Anne Wilkinson and Cutbert Worpcop on January 21st 1543, at St. Antholin's, Budge Row; the christening of Allen Wilinson on August 4th 1552, at St. Martin Orgar and St. Clement's, Eastcheap; and the marriage of Anne Wilkinson and Thomas Roles on September 27th 1560, in Hackney. John Wilkinson, together with his wife, Eliza, and daughter Nancy, were famine emigrants who sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Robert-Parks" bound for New York on May 25th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Wyleconsecone, which was dated 1332, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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