WILSON was a baptismal name 'the son of Will' an ancient and still popular personal name. The name was also locational and there are places so called in counties Devon and Leicester. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land. Early records of the name mention Adam Wyllson, who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Edward Wilson of County Lancashire, registered at Oxford University in the year 1604. John Wilson (1785-1854) was a professor at Edinburgh University and a notable literary critic. The name was taken early to Scotland by settlers and early records in Scotland mention John Wulson who was a merchant in the service of Sir John of Mountgomery in 1405. Michael Wilsoun was burgess of Irvine in the year of 1418. Thomas Wolsoun was documented as a tenant of Neubotel Abbey in 1563. The northern Wilsons are ranked as a sept of Clan Gunn, through George Gunn's son William, who flourished in the fifteenth century. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. The earliest hereditary surnames in England are found shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and are of Norman French origin rather than native English. On the arrival of the Normans they identified themselves by references to the estates from which they came from in northern France. These names moved rapidly on with their bearers into Scotland and Ireland. Others of the Norman Invaders took names from the estates in England which they had newly acquired. The name was very common in Glasgow in the sixteenth century. This is by far the most numerous English and Scottish name in Ireland, and is found mainly in Ulster.
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