This name is of early medieval English origin, and is a patronymic form of "Wilkin", itself composed of Will, a short (diminutive) form of William, with the diminutive suffix "kin", the "s" of Wilkins meaning "son of Wilkin". The personal name William was introduced into England by the Normans in the Old Germanic form "Wilhelm" or "Wilelm", as well as the French "Guillaume". The name is composed of the elements "wil", meaning "will, desire" and "helm", helmet, protection. The name Wilkins is first recorded as a personal name in 1166, in the Northumberland Pipe Rolls, as "Wilechin". John Wilkins married Merget Martyn on April 15th 1541 at St. Michael Bassishaw, London, and on November 30th 1550, George Wilkins was christened at St. Andrew Hubbard, London. One John Wilkins and his wife appear as early settlers in the New World; they are listed as residents of "the Eastern Shore" in Virginia in February 1623. There are no less than fourteen Coats of Arms granted to this illustrious family. One of them is an ermine shield, on a black bend three silver martlets, and a gold canton charged with a red rose, the Crest being a black boar passant reguardant pierced through the shoulders with a silver arrow bendways, the boar biting the arrow. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Wylkyns, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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