The surname of WILKEN was a baptismal name 'the son of William' from the nickname Will. The name is also spelt WILKIN, WILKENS, WILKERSON and WILKINS. It was a popular medieval given name and early records of the name mention Wilechin (without surname) who was recorded in the year 1166 in County Northumberland. Richard Wilken was documented in 1180 in County Suffolk and Edward Wilkin appears in County Cambridge in 1273. Matilda Wylkin of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The name was found early in Scotland, where it had been taken by settlers, and Malcolm Quilquen was recorded there in 1431. William Wylkyn held land in Glasgow in 1540, and Thomas Wilkin rendered to the Exchequer the accounts of the burgh of Rutherglen in 1557 and 1558. Gawine Walkine was the baillie of Selkirk in 1590, and William Wilking the burgess of Lanarkshire in 1604. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker. A notable member of the name was John Wilkins, born in 1614, the English churchman and scientist. He was a graduate of Magdalen Hall, Oxford, and became a domestic chaplain. In the Civil War he sided with Parliament, and in 1656 he married the widowed sister of Oliver Cromwell. He wrote 'Discovery of a World in the Moon' in 1628, in which he discusses the possibility of communication by a flying machine with the moon and its supposed inhabitants. The associated arms are recorded in. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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