Weeks (surname)

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Weeks
Language(s)English
Origin
Meaning"son of Wikke", "resident of wick, wic, vic"
Region of originSouth Western England
Other names
Variant form(s)Weekes, Wicks, Weech, Week, Weeke, Wich, Wych, Weetch, Wick, Wickes, Wix, Wike, Witch, Wykes, Whick,[1] and Vik[2]

The name Weeks is an uncommon English surname, usually either a patronymic of the Middle English Wikke ("battle, war") or a topographic or occupational name deriving from Wick ("small, outlying village"). It may also be an Anglification of the Scandinavian habitational name Vik ("small bay, inlet").

Derivation[edit]

Weeks is an English surname of Germanic origin with several known derivations:

  • A patronymic from the Middle English personal name Wikke, which is in turn a short form of any of various Germanic personal names formed with the element wig, meaning battle, war.[2]
  • A variant of Wick, which is an English topographic name for someone who lived in an outlying settlement dependent on a larger village; from the Old English wic an early loan word from the Latin vicus, or a habitational name from a place named with this word.[2] Examples of such places include Week Green in Cornwall, and Wick in Somerset.
    The village of Giggleswick, England, named for Gikel's dwelling or dairy farm
    As the term was especially used to denote an outlying dairy farm or salt works, it may also have been an occupational name for someone who worked at such a facility. The addition of a final "s" to topographical and locational surnames was a usual medieval practice, denoting one who was resident at a place, rather than from it.[1]
  • An Anglification of the Scandinavian Vik, itself either a habitational name from any of the numerous Norwegian or Swedish farmsteads named with Old Norse vík, meaning small bay, inlet, or (in Swedish) a topographic or ornamental name.[2] An example of this is the Scottish Highland town of Wick, (Scots: Week or Weik)[3]
    Wick Bay, Wick, Scotland

Early instances[edit]

Early bearers of the surname include:

Later recordings include:

  • Symon Weeks, of Devonshire, a worsted weaver born in 1618, who emigrated to Barbados in February 1634 aged only 16. He is currently known to be the first person with the surname Weeks or etymologies of it to travel to the new world thus becoming a common ancestor to many with the name or derivatives of it in North America.
  • Benjamin Weich of London, who married Aurrelia Clarke at St James Clerkenwell, on 21 September 1653.
  • Henry Witch of London who married Ann Rugrove at St Olaves, Southwark, on 26 June 1774.

Cognates and variations[edit]

Names etymologically related to Weeks include but may not be limited to: Weekes, Wicks, Weech, Week, Weeke, Wich, Wych, Weetch, Wick, Wickes, Wix, Wike, Witch, Wykes, Whick,[1] and Vik.[2]

Frequency and distribution[edit]

In the UK, at the time of the 1881 Census, the relative frequency of Weeks was highest in Devon (7.3 times the British average), followed by Wiltshire, Somerset, Hampshire, Brecknockshire, Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Kent and Dorset.[4]

Today the name is most common (indicated in frequency per million) in Australia (188), the United States (181), the United Kingdom (156), Canada (143), and New Zealand (71).

Globally, the city with the largest numbers of people named Weeks is Bristol, United Kingdom, located in the south western county of Somerset.[5]

In the US, there were 51,976 people in 1990 with the last name Weeks, making it the 675th most common last name. The table below compares this with the corresponding enumerations of related names at that time in the US.[6]

Name Number
Weeks 51,976
Wicks 12,291
Wick 8,255
Wike 2,629
Wix 2,079
Weekes 1,957
Wyke 917
Wickes 887
Weech 826
Vik 489
Wykes 336

Notable people with the surname[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Internet Surname Database". Name Origin Research. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e Patrick Hanks, ed. (2003). Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508137-4.
  3. ^ The Online Scots Dictionary
  4. ^ Weeks Surname at Forebears
  5. ^ "World Family Names Profiler". Public Profiler. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  6. ^ "How Many of Me?". Names. Retrieved 4 February 2009.