Author Topic: Origin of the surname mcwilliams?  (Read 14214 times)

Offline owenc

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Origin of the surname mcwilliams?
« on: Monday 27 September 10 15:47 BST (UK) »
What is the origin of the surname mcwilliams? I am so confused as it says that they came over in the plantation but nearly all of them are catholic so how could they have done that? Is it possible that they came as catholics or came earlier? I really want to know its so confusing. This says its scottish: http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/mcwilliams , but is it really, does anyone know any history of the family in northern ireland as it is only common here nowhere else on this island. Which is shown on the 1911 census.
Cummins - Coleraine and Magilligan
Henry - Garvagh area
McWilliams - Derry and Draperstown area
Smith - Bovevagh, Limavady
Mcsheffrey - Coleraine
Kerr - Derry and Tyrone
McLaughlin - County Londonderry and Donegal
Black - Dunboe
Thompson - Limavady area
Irwin - Bovevagh
Sinclair - County Londonderry
Cassidy - Garvagh area
Diamond - Dungiven
Mullan - Dungiven

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Offline jenimac

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Re: Origin of the surname mcwilliams?
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 24 October 10 17:07 BST (UK) »
Hi

I have been trying to trace a family ancestor, Robert Nathaniel McWilliams, who was born in Ireland in Monaghan in 1831. He was Church of Ireland and later in South Africa joined the Wesleyan Church.  The name has always been spelt McWilliams and as far as I know there were no catholics in the family.  If you could shed any light on where I should look for his birth I would be thrilled. His mother was Mary McAvinue

Jenny

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Offline owenc

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Re: Origin of the surname mcwilliams?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 24 October 10 18:05 BST (UK) »
Hi

I have been trying to trace a family ancestor, Robert Nathaniel McWilliams, who was born in Ireland in Monaghan in 1831. He was Church of Ireland and later in South Africa joined the Wesleyan Church.  The name has always been spelt McWilliams and as far as I know there were no catholics in the family.  If you could shed any light on where I should look for his birth I would be thrilled. His mother was Mary McAvinue

Jenny

Aw yes most of them in northern ireland and the provience of ulster are catholics but there are a few protestants, as i know all the ones here are presbyterian but mines aren't from here so they are catholic, thats why i was trying to find a conversion but so far i haven't..  :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[. You should look on emerald ancestors and familysearch.org for yours. Yours are probably welsh or english due to being church of ireland the mcwilliams are probably one of the rare planters to be english! ::) typical lol.
Cummins - Coleraine and Magilligan
Henry - Garvagh area
McWilliams - Derry and Draperstown area
Smith - Bovevagh, Limavady
Mcsheffrey - Coleraine
Kerr - Derry and Tyrone
McLaughlin - County Londonderry and Donegal
Black - Dunboe
Thompson - Limavady area
Irwin - Bovevagh
Sinclair - County Londonderry
Cassidy - Garvagh area
Diamond - Dungiven
Mullan - Dungiven

Offline JohnMcW

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Re: Origin of the surname mcwilliams?
« Reply #3 on: Monday 17 September 12 23:32 BST (UK) »
My McW line is catholic back to the 1600s in Ballinascreen (Derry).  There is a report from a Drapers Company deputation in 1817 which states that the inhabitants of that area, while Catholic, physically resembled the Scots, not the other local Irish.  The report surmised that the inhabitants had migrated to Ireland from Scotland before the Reformation. Possible...  It is a Scottish surname.

Offline Blue70

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Re: Origin of the surname mcwilliams?
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 30 September 12 20:56 BST (UK) »
People moved between the north of Ireland and Scotland/the isles for thousands of years. One of the well known movements pre-reformation were Scots who were called the "Gallowglass". They were warriors who served as mercenaries in the wars between Irish chieftains. Later Scottish mercenaries were known as "Redshanks" and some of them fought on the side of the Irish against the Tudor conquest of Ireland:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallowglass


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Online Elwyn Soutter

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Re: Origin of the surname mcwilliams?
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 30 September 12 21:12 BST (UK) »
Though the majority of Scots settlers in the Plantation were Presbyterian, there were some Catholics, notably followers of the James Hamilton (later 1st Earl of Abercorn) who settled around Strabane. But there were other Catholic settlers from Scotland. So your ancestors could be Catholic and have originated in Scotland. Not always easy to determine after 400 years or more.
Elwyn

Offline Blue70

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Re: Origin of the surname mcwilliams?
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 30 September 12 21:21 BST (UK) »
The surname could also have been changed over time from a similar sounding surname such as McQuillan. In the Isle of Man the variant of this surname is Quilliam.


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Offline Stiofan MacUilliam

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Re: Origin of the surname mcwilliams?
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 12 June 13 23:48 BST (UK) »
Where did you get this info from Drapers Company, that they didn't resemble the locals and looked like scots?I'd be most interested in this. I though it was derived from McQuillan a more established name in Ireland. Some of McWilliams in the area in 17-18 century were spelling it as McQuilliams. This was later changed to McWilliams. But can't rule out Scots connection

Offline Skoosh

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Re: Origin of the surname mcwilliams?
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 13 June 13 09:46 BST (UK) »
Could be involved in that extention of MacDonald power from the Isles into Antrim.
 The MacSween's crossed the "sheugh" also, becoming Sweeney's I believe.

Skoosh