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This name derives from the Old Norman name “Williame”, (French: Guillaume; German: Wilhelm). In turn the name derives from the Old High German name “Willihelm“, composed of two elements: “*wiljô” (will, wish, desire) plus “*helmaz” (helmet, protection), thus the Old German Name “Wilhelm” and the Old Norse Name “Vilhjálmr” have the same roots. The first well-known bearer of the name was Charlemagne's cousin William of Gellone, William of Orange, and Guillaume Fierabrace (755–812). This William is immortalized in the “Chanson de Guillaume” and his esteem may account for the name's subsequent popularity among European nobility. 1) William I (1028–1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. 2) William I (Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig, 1797–1888), of the House of Hohenzollern was the King of Prussia (1861–1888) and the first German Emperor (1871–1888), as well as the first Head of State of a united Germany. 3) William Tell is a folk hero of Switzerland. His legend is recorded in a late 15th-century Swiss chronicle.

willson M English