In the world of patronymic surnames, the name of Williams is a derivative of the Son of William and can be dated back to the Medieval Period in England. It would then later become a popular name used in Wales as well and by today it is found to be the third most common surname utilized in the United States and simultaneously the 5th most common in New Zealand.
It was actually the Son of Guillemin, in which Guillemin is the French Version of William that had made used of German naming elements of which Will meant desire and Helm was short for Hamlet and meant protection. There is also the fact that wellham was known as the shield or also as the defense of many and so the name would be derived as William. The concept of this name becoming a patronymic is due to the Welsh use of the s at the end of a name denounce the son. For this reason many insist that actual origin of the name can be traced back to Wales.
It was back in 1279 that the name William was first found in Oxfordshire, followed by the 1299 appearance of the name in Whitby, Yorkshire then in Staffordshire by 1307.
Perhaps one interesting bit of factual information about persons baring the surname of Williams is that at the end of the American Civil War, at the Battle of Palmetto Ranch which occurred in Texas, the last person to die in battle was named John J. Williams.
Of course there have been many other very famous persons who have used the Williams surname which includes that of Thomas Lanier Williams who had won a Pulitzer Prize for his play entitles A Streetcar Named Desire as well as for his play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof which would be latter turned into a motion picture.
Hank Williams as well as his son, Hank Williams Jr. and his son Hank Williams III have all be popular American musicians who have led the country music genre and having Hank Williams Sr. as the founder of what has become known as Honkey Tonk.
Then again, I doubt there is anyone who has yet to see a Robin Williams film. Robin Williams is known for his comedic acting and fond love for making people laugh that he was willing to take virtually any acting gig regardless of pay just to put a smile on people’s faces.
In professional Basketball you may have heard the name of Aaron Williams while in American Football as well as New Zealand you have most likely heard of the names Aeneas Williams and Ali Williams.
Then again you cannot forget the Brady Bunch in which Barry Williams was one of the casts. In American baseball you may also find that Bernie and Billy Williams were both famous ball players. In music, the bassist for the band AC/DC was known as Cliff Williams and across the pond in America, Craig L. Williams is the person which is known simply as Craig Hollywood.
For those who shared the names of Thomas or Tom Williams, there have been many famous persons through world history. These Williams that share their given name include a New Zealand Catholic Archbishop, A British Photographer, one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact, a Welsh Lawyer, a British cartoonist, an American novelist, Australian politician, the Attorney General of California towards the end of the 19th century, the United States representatives from Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Illinois as well as Alabama, two different U.S. Senators from Mississippi and many others including athletes, politicians, artists as well as writers.
In the U.S. you will find the cities of Williams in Arizona, California, Iowa, Minnesota, South Carolina as well as two of them in Indiana. There is even a Williams County and or Township which can be found in the states of North Dakota, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota as well as in Pennsylvania. You will even find several communities of Williams in Australia.
Ok, so there are many Williams throughout the history of the world and why shouldn’t there be. There is a good chance that you may even be able to find a famous Williams in your family tree and all that you need to do is to look.
Original Authors: Nick
Edit Update Authors: None
Updated On: 04/04/2009