Origin of the Name Wilkes
The ancient history of the name Wilkes
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. Meaning 'the son of William' variants of the name Wilkes include Wilk, Wilks, Wilken, Wilkinson, Wilkins, Wilkens, Wilkenson, Wilkerson and Wilkie. This name is of Anglo-Saxon descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout these countries. Examples of such are a Thomas Wilkynson and a Adam Wtlkynson who were recorded in the 'Poll Tax' of the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, in the year 1379. A John Wylkynson was a resident of Vddynston, Scotland, in the year 1498.
Names were recorded in these ancient documents to make it easier for their overlords to collect taxes and to keep records of the population at any given time. When the overlords acquired land by either force or gifts from their rulers, they created charters of ownership for themselves and their vassals. It was by creating, maintaining and updating these reference books that they were able to maintain their authority and enforce laws.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century. It was the 'Plantations of Ireland' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that marked the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland. While the influx of settlers in the wake of the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
The Wilkes coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Wilkes descendants.