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WILLIAMS - Name Meaning & Origin


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WILLIAMS Surname Meaning & Origin:

1) Son or descendant of Guillemin, a pet form of Guillaume, the French form of William. 2) From the Belgic "guild-helm," harnessed with a gilded helmet or "welhelm," the shield or defense of many. 3) Derived from the given name "William," an Old French given name with Germanic elements: wil = desire, will; and helm = helmet, protection.

In Wales, adding an "s" to the end of a surname denotes "son of," pointing to Wales as the origin of many people with the Williams surname. The Williams surname is also popular in countries such as England, Scotland and Germany. Williams is the third most popular surname in the United States and Great Britain.

Surname Origin:

English, Welsh

Alternate Surname Spellings:


Fun Facts About the WILLIAMS Surname:

The last man killed in the U.S. Civil War was Private John J. Williams of the 34th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He was killed in the battle of Palmetto Ranch, Texas, on May 13, 1865, a month after Lee's surrender.

Famous People with the Surname WILLIAMS:

Genealogy Resources for the Surname WILLIAMS:

Search Strategies for Common Last Names
Use these strategies for locating ancestors with common names like Williams to help you research your WILLIAMS ancestors online.

100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their Meanings
Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census?

Common English Surnames & Their Meanings
Williams is the 3rd most popular surname in Great Britain.

Williams DNA Project
The Williams DNA project has over 535 participants making it the 2nd largest surname DNA project in the world. The Web site includes Williams records from around the world as well.

Descendants of William Williams
A genealogy of the descendants of William Williams (1778-1857) from Pittsylvania County, VA.

Williams Name Meaning & Family History
An overview of the Williams surname meaning, plus subscription-based access to genealogical records on Williams families around the world from Ancestry.com.

Williams Family Genealogy Forum
Search this popular genealogy forum for the Williams surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Williams query.

FamilySearch - WILLIAMS Genealogy
Find records, queries, and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Williams surname.

Cousin Connect - WILLIAMS Genealogy Queries
Read or post genealogy queries for the surname Williams, and sign up for free notification when new Williams queries are added.

DistantCousin.com - WILLIAMS Genealogy & Family History
Free databases and genealogy links for the last name Williams.

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References: Surname Meanings & Origins

Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.

Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005.

Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004.

Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.

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