This interesting surname, of English origin, is derived from "Wil", a pet form of the personal name William, itself coming from the Norman form of an Old French personal name composed of the Germanic elements "wil" meaning "will" or "desire", plus "helm", helmet, protection, plus the diminutive suffix "kin". The surname dates back to the late 12th Century (see below), and further recordings include: Ralph Wylekin, in the 1216 Subsidy Rolls of Norfolk, and Roger Wylkyns, in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire. Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Wilkins, Wilkens and Wilkings. Recordings from London Church Registers include: Alis Wilkin, who was christened at St. Andrew Hubbard with Mary at Hill, on December 9th 1546, and Anne, daughter of Richard and Margaret Wilkin, who was christened at St. Mary at Hill, on July 14th 1695. One Sara Wilkin, together with her sons Samuel, Johnston, David and Robert, and her daughter, Myril, were family emigrants who sailed from Glasgow, aboard the "Emblem" bound for New York on May 20th 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Wilekin, which was dated 1180, in the "Pipe Rolls of Hampshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.