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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 started collecting material of my mother's surname in 1986 and registered it as a One Name Study in 1989. I have made many contacts worldwide and although I have been told it is Watkins I have traced my own line back to Broseley, Shropshire in the 1600's where Thomas Watkis, Church Warden, was a Ground Collier (he picked up the coal from the fields and put it in his wheelbarrow).

When I started my Watkiss research with a marriage in Newcastle upon Tyne I was told - ALL Watkiss' come from Shropshire - it took me four years to find this to be true.

Variant names


Name origin

All Watkiss' comes from Shropshire I was told in the late 1980's by my first connection from the Genealogicl Research Directory which was a publication where ones surname interests were published annually.

This has proved to be correct and they are established there in the 16th century.

Distribution of the name

Shropshire is the main county for Watkiss/Watkis which then spreads in the 1820's to Staffordshire & London.


Birth references from the General Register Office 1837 - 2005

Marriage references from the General Register Office 1837 - 2005

Death references from the General Register Office 1837 - 2006

Parish Register entries in Shropshire, UK

Parish Register entries in London & Middlesex, UK

Burials Register in Shropshire and National Burial Index 3rd edition

Marriage Register in Shropshire

Census information for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 and the 1939 Register


A DNA project has now been established and I am looking forward to finding out more about the origins of this unusual surname.

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