The origin of this name is medieval German, the derivation being from either Villinger, a name found recorded heraldically from the former province of Winter Thur or Willinger, a Bavarian name which also has heraldic and noble ancestry. Over a quarter of a million European emigrees fled to the British Isles between the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and the formation of the German Empire in 1852, and in most cases their names became completely anglicized. In this case the near original spelling has been retained. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edle Von Willinger which was dated C.1680 The Kingdom of Bavaria during the reign of Emperor Leopold 1 of the Holy Roman Empire 1668 - 1705. 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.