An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2013
Origins Available: German, Welsh
Where did the Welsh Williams family come from? What is the Welsh Williams family crest and coat of arms? When did the Williams family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Williams family history?The Welsh name Williams is a patronymic surname derived from the personal name William, which is in turn derived from the Old German names Willihelm and Willelm (the Norman French version was Guillaume). Following the Norman Conquest of 1066, William became the most popular personal name in Britain for a time.
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 Williams has occasionally been spelled Williams, Quilliams, Guilliam, Guilliams and others.
First found in Breconshire and Monmouthshire on the English/ Welsh border, where they are traditionally believed to be descended from Brychan Brecheiniog who was Lord of Brecknock at the time of King Arthur of the Round Table. The mediaeval seat of the ancestors of the Williams family was at Llangibby Castle in County Monmouth. More recently, the family is descended through Rhys Goch, the red haired Lord Ystradyw from Caradog Vreichvras. One of the first records of the name was listed as Robertus filius Willelmi  which was listed in the Domesday Book.  Other early records include Richard Williams who was listed in the Hundred Rolls of 1279 and John Wylyam who was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Williams research. Another 137 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1604, 1683, 1636, 1635, 1666, 1660, 1661, 1641, 1656 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Williams History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 125 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Williams Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Williams family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 161 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Williams:
Williams Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century
Williams Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century
Williams Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Ensuivant la verite
Motto Translation: By following the truth.
The Williams Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Williams 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 16 May 2013 at 13:58.
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