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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Welsh Guilliams family come from? What is the Welsh Guilliams family crest and coat of arms? When did the Guilliams family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Guilliams family history?

The origins of the Welsh name Guilliams go back to those ancient Celts known as the Britons that once occupied the hills and Moors of Wales. This old Welsh surname is from the personal name Gwilliam, which is a Welsh form of the name William.

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Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Guilliams has occasionally been spelled Gwilliam, Gwuilliam, Guilliam and others.

First found in Chirk, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Guilliams research. Another 198 words(14 lines of text) covering the year 1351 is included under the topic Early Guilliams History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Guilliams Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in search of land, work, and freedom. These immigrants greatly contributed to the rapid development of the new nations of Canada and the United States. They also added a rich and lasting cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Guilliams:

Guilliams Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • T. Guilliams, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1895
  • Henri Guilliams, aged 29, who landed in America from Antwerp, in 1898

Guilliams Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Jan Bapt. Guilliams, aged 35, who emigrated to America, in 1923

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  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  6. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  7. Rowlands, John, John Rowlands and Sheila Rowlands. Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1999. Print. (ISBN 080631620).
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Guilliams Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Guilliams Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 20 December 2012 at 11:51.

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