Weeks (surname)

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Weeks
Family name
Meaning "son of Wikke", "resident of wick, wic, vic"
Region of origin South Western England
Language(s) of origin English
Related names Weekes, Wicks, Weech, Week, Weeke, Wich, Wych, Weetch, Wick, Wickes, Wix, Wike, Witch, Wykes, Whick,[1] and Vik.[2]

The name Weeks is a relatively common 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 Weeks[edit]

  • Alan Weeks (1923–1996), British television sports reporter and commentator
  • Bert Weeks (1918–1990), mayor of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, from 1975 to 1982
  • Bob Weeks (born 1960), editor of Scoregolf magazine
  • Brent Weeks, writer of fantasy books including best-selling The Night Angel trilogy.
  • David Weeks, former Conservative Leader of Westminster City Council
    color photograph of Honeysuckle Weeks, British actress
    Honeysuckle Weeks, British actress
  • Don Weeks (1938–2015), longtime host of the WGY Morning News in Schenectady, New York
  • Edgar Weeks (1839–1904), military officer, judge and politician from Michigan
  • Edward G. Weeks III (born 1984), American criminologist
  • Edwin Lord Weeks (1849 – 1903), American artist
  • Edythe E. Weeks (born 1963), Professor of outer space development and international political science
  • Ezra Weeks, builder who served as a witness in a sensationalized murder trial
  • Frank B. Weeks (1854–1935), former Governor of Connecticut
  • George Weeks, New Zealand clergyman and educator
  • Harry S. Weeks, notable political activist in Wheeling, West Virginia
  • Hilary Weeks, singer/songwriter of faith-based music
  • Honeysuckle Weeks (born 1979), British actress, best known for her starring role as Samantha Stewart in the British TV series Foyle's War
  • Jeffrey Weeks, American mathematician and MacArthur Fellow
  • Jeffrey Weeks, British historian, sociologist, and gay activist
  • Jemile Weeks, Major League Baseball second baseman for the Oakland Athletics, brother of Rickie Weeks
  • John W. Weeks (1860–1926), US Senator and Secretary of War
  • Joseph Weeks (1773–1845), United States Representative from New Hampshire
  • Kent R. Weeks (born 1941), American Egyptologist
  • Kevin Weeks (born 1956), former mobster
  • Laurie Weeks, writer and performer based in New York City
  • Lee Weeks, American comic book artist and penciller
  • Levi Weeks (1776–1819), the accused in the infamous Manhattan Well Murder trial of 1800
  • Miriam Weeks (born 1995) American pornstar
  • Orlando Weeks (born 1983), lead singer and guitarist of London-based band The Maccabees
    black and white photograph of John W. Weeks, American politician
    John W. Weeks, American politician
  • Perdita Weeks (born 1985), British actress
  • Ray Weeks (1930–2015), English cricketer
  • Raymond Weeks (1863–1954), American linguist and academic
  • Rickie Weeks (born 1982), Major League Baseball second baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers, brother of Jemile Weeks
  • Rollo Weeks (born 1987), British actor
  • Russ Weeks (born 1942), former Republican State Senator from West Virginia
  • Sinclair Weeks (1893–1972), United States Secretary of Commerce under Dwight Eisenhower
  • Steve Weeks (born 1958), retired ice hockey goaltender
  • Theophilus Weeks (1708–1772), soldier in the French and Indian War and founder of Swansboro, North Carolina
  • Thompson Weeks, Wisconsin politician
  • William Henry Weeks (1864–1936), American architect who designed many public buildings in California
  • Willet Weeks, Jr. (1917–2006), American newspaper executive, publisher of the New York Herald Tribune European Edition (1955–1960)
  • Willie Weeks (born 1947), American bassist

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.