Recorded as Wilk, Wilke, diminutives Welkin, Wilkin, Wilkiss, patronymics Wils, Wilkinson, Wilkison, Wilkisson and others, this is an English surname. It is a short ornickname form of the peronal name and later surname William, or Will with the diminutive"kin" to mean Little Willia or son of William. This male personal name was introduced into England by Duke William of Normandy at the Conquest of 1066, and rapidly became the most popular given name in England, mainly no doubt in honour of the Conqueror himself. The name was originally "Wilhelm", composed of the elements "Wil" meaning desire and "helm", protection. Early examples of the surname recording include Roger Wylkesonne in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1332, Thomas Wilkinsone in the same rolls but for Cumberland in 1332, and Thomas Wilkes who married Alice Clercke, at St. Lawrence Jewry on November 15th 1540. Mark Wilks (1760 - 1831) was the governor of St. Helena from 1813 - 1815. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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