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2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

I have been researching my family history since 1997, starting with my grandparent's names of: TIMMINS, HAYES, WILLIAMS and BENYON, then slowly working through the generations until brick walls started to appear. During the research I became very interested in my own surname, mainly as it appeared to be rare particularly in the area which I lived (Cheshire). This interest in family history subsequently developed into a blog where I could post facts about my research, hopefully encouraging potential cousins to get in touch.

I acquired a number of unconnected TIMMINS during my research which I decided would help start a One Name Study. It is early days and I'm just commencing my journey, there are a lot of decisions to make and data to collect but will update this page as I go.

I have created a new blog called 'My Timmins Name' where you can review my progress.   I have an another blog called Ancestral Wormhole where I have already published some research relating to my family history and other related subjects.

My research is currently restricted to England and Wales but I would be pleased to hear from anyone researching the name. I will respond to all enquires and I will be delighted to assist where possible.

Variant names

At this stage I have chosen not to register any variants. There appear to be many deviants including:


Names such as TIMMONS, TOMMINS and TIMMIS are possibly surnames in there own right. However I will revisit this in the future.

Name origin

The geographical origin of the surname, in the British Isles, points towards the West Midlands of England.

To find the geographical origin of a surname you really have to understand where a person was born, rather than where they lived when the census was taken.  Another factor is that you need to look at the older people in the census as this this will give a view of what was happening to the population prior to the mass migration caused by the Industrial Revolution.

The map below, with data extracted from the 1881 census gives an indication of this.

Timmins Surname Map for 1881

Historical occurrences of the name

Source: Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames by Reaney & Wilson (revised Third Edition)

Relevant Names:


Gilbert TIMIN 1279 - Rotuli Hundredorum (Cambridgeshire);

Richard TYMYNG 1332 - Subsidy Rolls (Sussex);

Richard TYMMYNG 1477 - Calendar of Inquisitiones post mortem (Nottinghamshire).

TIM-EN, TIM-ON, diminutives of Old German THIEMMO, or on an unrecorded Old English postulated form TIMA

Bardsley and Harrison suggest that the name derives from Timothy - this is most unlikely as the name was not used in England before the Protestant Reformation.

Uncorroborated evidence gathered from other sources suggests:

  • Time : Latin tempus, Old English tima, Proto-Germanic timon
  • Time : The passage of existence, measured in periods such as seconds. Old English “tima” < Old Germanic “timon” < root “ti”=to stretch.
  • Tīd : (plural) tide (fem noun) or tima, (plural) timan (masc noun), (Old English) = time, times (modern English). Tīd is comparable to German Zeit, tima is traced to Latin tempus.

My take on the origin of the surname is open to discussion, let me know what you may think.

  • TIMAN : 'The Time Man'
  • TIMMAN(S) : 'Son of The Time Man'

Name frequency

In the 1881 Census for England and Wales there are 2331 occurrences of the TIMMINS name. The source for this is the FamilySearch web site, searching for TIMMINS with an exact spelling.  The table below gives a flavour of the surname frequency.

Timmins Surname Frequency Table

Due to the large number of occurrences I have decided not to complicate the start of the project by including variants.

Distribution of the name

My current research indicates that the distribution of the surname is clearly central on the West Midlands counties of Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. In fact the three Poor Law Unions of Dudley, Stourbridge and West Bromwich account for 46% of the total birth locations in England and Wales (Source: FindMyPast 1881 Census Records).

  • Stourbridge 188 individuals; 7%
  • Dudley 569 individuals; 25%
  • West Bromwich 379 individuals; 14%

Timmins Distribution in The West Midlands from the 1881 Census

Timmins Distribution in The West Midlands from the 1881 Census


I have accumulated a large amount of data for the period 1837 to 1911.  The construction of family trees and their publication from this data is a long process and will not be available for some time.  Collection of data from other sources such as Parish registers, Wills and Probate, etc, are an ongoing process.

Below is some data from the 1851 Census.

1851 Census Data

Tables from left to right:

  • Table 1 - This shows the variants of the TIMMINS surname as defined by the search in FindMyPast.   This is an area of the study I shall expand on at a later date when I have more information.
  • Table 2 - Shows a breakdown of individuals born with the surname by the county born.
  • Table 3 - Is the number of individuals born with the surname but by parish born.
  • Table 4 - Is an age breakdown from the 1851 census of individuals born with the surname TIMMINS.


The TIMMINS DNA Project was set up with FTDNA in November 2012.

Following a 37 Marker Y-DNA test my Haplogroup is predicted to be R-L48  (Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype). The FTNA web site tells me:

"Your DNA signature is 1 point away from the Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype the most common Y-DNA signature of Europe’s most common Haplogroup, R-M269.  Simply put your ancestors have experienced a dramatic population explosion over the past 10,000 years.  R1b, and its most common Haplotypes (yours), exists in high or very high frequencies in all of Western Europe from Spain in the south to the British Isles and western Scandinavia in the north."

Information on the project will be posted here as testing continues.

If you wish to take part in this new exciting project follow the link below.