Recorded as Willingam and Willingham, this is an English locational surname. It is locational and originates either from the twin villages of North and South Willingham near the town of Market Rasen in the county of Lincolnshire, or perhaps from Cherry Willingham in the same county or perhaps for some nameholders from Carlton Willingham in Cambridge. The place name and hence the later surname translates as the home of the Willa people, the latter being an early British or Olde English tribe that is well recorded through what is now known as the East Anglia Region. Locational surnames by their very nature, are usually "from" names. That is to say surnames that were given to people after they left their original homes and moved somewhere else. The easiest way to identify such strangers, was to call him, or sometimes her, by the name of the place from whence they originated. This often lead to a wide variety of spellings, but not seem seemingly, with this name. The name is very well recorded since at least Elizabethan times in the surviving church registers of Lincolnshire, and it is from there that we take our examples These are Thomas Willingam who was christened at Habrough church on September 17th 1564, and his sister Wyllma Willingam, christened at the same place on January 17th 1567. Slightly later we have the recording of Xpofer Willingham who married Alice Stamper at Nettleton, on June 8th 1587.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017