The English surname Willis is of patronymic origin meaning son of, or descendant of Wil a pet form of William. The name may also be of topographic origin as a name for someone who lived by a spring or stream, Middle English wille (from wiell(a), West Saxon form of Old English well(a) ‘spring’). The surname is found predominantly in the south and southwestern parts of the country. The fist recorded reference to the name was in 1327 when Walter Wilys was registered in the Poll Tax Rolls of Staffordshire. 

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