The English and Welsh surname Watkins is of patronymic origin, meaning son of, or descendant of Watkin. The personal name Watkin is a pet form of Walter common in the Middle Ages. The name is first recorded in the 14th Century when John Watkyns is registered in the subsidy rolls of Suffolk in 1327, and John Wattkyn of Sheffield, Yorkshire, in the year 1553. Other recordings taken from the church registers include the christening of Anne Watleinnes on May 21st 1557, at St. Peter's, Cornhill, John Gwatkin, who married Margery Woodward at Ledbury, Herefordshire, on January 20th 1566 and Eliza Watkiss who married Thomas Banning at Allhallows church in the city of London, on February 6th 1676.
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