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

Origins Available: English, Irish, Scottish

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

The Wilson surname in Ireland came from England and Scotland in the 17th century. The surname itself was ultimately derived from the personal name William, and means "son of William" or "son of Wil."


Spelling variations of this family name include: Wilson, Willson, Wilsone, Wulson, Wilsoun and others.

First found in Northern England, where the first on record appears to be Robert Willeson, listed in the Court Rolls of the manor of Wakefield, Yorkshire in 1324. Other early records include a Robert Wilson in 1341 in documents from the Cistercian Abbey of Kirkstall, Yorkshire; and John Willison in the Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire of 1366. There was a place named Wilson in Devon that has existed since at least the time of the Domesday Book.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wilson research. Another 397 words(28 lines of text) covering the years 1405, 1418, 1467, 1563 and 1603 are included under the topic Early Wilson History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 51 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wilson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Wilson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 39 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wilson Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Clement Wilson, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • John Wilson, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Andrew Wilson, who arrived in New England in 1651
  • Andrew Wilson, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1651
  • Christopher Wilson, a Scotch prisoner sent to Boston in 1651

Wilson Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Cornelius Wilson, who landed in Virginia in 1712
  • David Wilson, who came to Virginia in 1719
  • Anne Wilson, a bonded passenger, who arrived in Maryland in 1724
  • Alexander Wilson, a Scotch-Irish settled in Boston sometime between 1730 and 1736
  • Elizabeth Wilson, who landed in Augusta County, Va in 1740

Wilson Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Samuel Wilson, who arrived in New York from Londonderry in 1803 aboard the "Independence"
  • Joseph Wilson of Belfast, who arrived at Philadelphia in 1803, aboard the "Snow George"
  • Eleanor Wilson, aged 36, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1803
  • James Wilson, who arrived in New York in 1806 aboard the "Augusta" from Dublin
  • Brown Wilson, who landed in Ohio in 1807


  • Olin Chaddock Wilson (1909-1994), American astronomer, stellar spectroscopist, awarded the the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship in 1977 and the Bruce Medal in 1984
  • President Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), American politician, the twenty-eighth President of the United States
  • James Harrison Wilson (1837-1925), Union Army general in the American Civil War, railroad executive, and author
  • Ellen Louise Axson Wilson (1860-1914), first wife of Woodrow Wilson, First Lady of the United States from 1913 until her death
  • Edith Bolling Galt Wilson (1872-1961), second wife of President Woodrow Wilson, First Lady of the United States (1915-1921)
  • Gahan Wilson (b. 1930), American cartoonist
  • Tom Wilson (b. 1931), American cartoonist
  • Edmund Wilson (1895-1972), American literary critic and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Edmund Beecher Wilson (1856-1939), American zoologist
  • Edward Osborne Wilson (b. 1929), American biologist and two-time winner (1979 and 1991) of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and the 1976 National Medal of Science



  • A Brief Account of the Wilsons by Emery Small Wilson.
  • The DeMay Family and the Wilson Family by Ida DeMay Wilson.
  • The Family of Samuel & Jean Love Wilson by Sara Stewart Hinckley.

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  1. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  2. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  3. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  4. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  5. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  10. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  11. ...

The Wilson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wilson 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 23 October 2014 at 18:58.

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