The name Sillars began among the ancestors of the people of an ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts
. It was a name for a merchant, someone who worked in cellars, and a saddler. Sillars is an occupational
surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames
surnames were derived from the primary activity of the bearer. In the Middle Ages, people did not generally live off of the fruits of their labor in a particular job. Rather, they performed a specialized task, as well as farming, for subsistence. Other occupational names were derived from an object associated with a particular activity. This type of surname is called a metonymic
surname. This surname applies to a variety of occupations. In the case of a merchant, the surname Sillars derives from an ancient derivitave of the Old English word, sell(en),
which means, to sell.
It also comes from the Old English word, sellan,
which means to hand over, or deliver.
In the sense of a person who worked in cellars, Sillars is a metonymic occupational name, which comes from the Anglo Norman French word, celler.
The cellars referred to in this example, would have been in mansions and other great houses. In the final case, that of a saddler, the surname Sillars comes from the Anglo Norman French word, seller,
which is a derivative of the Latin word sellarius,
which means seat,
This ancient occupation
was extremely important in the Middle Ages, as horses were the primary mode of transportation.
Early Origins of the Sillars family
The surname Sillars was first found in Aberdeenshire
(Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland
, where they held a family seat
from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Scotland
to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
Early History of the Sillars family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sillars research.Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1281, 1482, 1630, 1698, 1671, 1646, 1705, 1700 and 1671 are included under the topic Early Sillars History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sillars Spelling Variations
Although Medieval Scotland
lacked a basic set of spelling rules, which meant that scribes recorded names according to their sounds it was not uncommon for the names of a father and son to be recorded differently. As a result, there are many spelling variations
of Scottish single names. Sillars has been written Sellers, Sellars, Sellors and others.
Early Notables of the Sillars family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan
at this time was John Seller (ca. 1630-1698), English hydrographer and compass maker who published the first sailing directions for England
in 1671, eponym of the Seller Glacier, Antarctica. Abednego Seller (c.
1646-1705), son of Richard Seller of Plymouth, was an English non-juring divine and controversial writer... Another 93 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sillars Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sillars family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of Scots left their home country to travel to Ireland
, or to cross the Atlantic for the North American colonies. The difficult crossing was an enormous hurdle, but those who survived found freedom and opportunity in ample measure. Some Scots even fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence
. This century, their ancestors have become aware of the illustrious history of the Scots in North America and at home through Clan
societies and other organizations. Passenger and immigration lists show many early and influential immigrants bearing the name Sillars:
Sillars Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Alexander Sillars, aged 24, who arrived in America from Belfast, Ireland, in 1909
- Janet Sillars, aged 31, who arrived in America from Ayr, Scotland, in 1910
- Archibald T. Sillars, aged 40, who arrived in America, in 1911
- William Sillars, aged 20, who arrived in America from Hurlford, Scotland, in 1912
- James Sillars, aged 21, who arrived in America from Hurlford, Scotland, in 1912
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Sillars (post 1700)
- Donald Currie Sillars (1868-1905), Scottish footballer
- Jim Sillars (b. 1937), Scottish politician, Member of Parliament for Glasgow Govan (1988-1992)
Sillars Family Crest Products