Recorded as Wilk and diminutives Wilken, Wilkin, Wilkings (England), Wolk (German), Wilczek, Wilkowicz, Wilkowski (Polish), Wilkie (Scottish), Volkov (Russian), and others, this is interesting surname is arguably either pre 5th century Germanic or Slavonic. It ultimately originates from the words "wil" meaning desire or if Salvonic "wilk," a wolf, and "helm", meaning a helmet or protection. To these can be added the diminutive suffix "-kin" and the patronymic "s" meaning son of. It is in England that the earlest recordings are to be found anywhere in Europe and these include Ralph Wylekin in the Subsidy Rolls of Norfolk in 1216, and Roger Wylk in the Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire in 1327. Later recordings include Alis Wilkin christened at St. Andrew Hubbard in the city of London, on December 9th 1546, whilst in Poland we have the recording of Wojciech Wilkowski at Lubien Kusawski, Bydgoskiego, on May 1st 1799. The first recorded spelling of the family name is probably that of William Wilekin. This was dated 1180, in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, known as the builder of churches, 1154 - 1189. 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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