Ailant History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The surname Ailant is derived from the personal name Hugelin, which is a diminutive of Hugh. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Uighilin.
Early Origins of the Ailant family
The surname Ailant was first found in County Antrim (Irish: Aontroim) located in the province of Ulster in present day Northern Ireland, where they were granted lands by Strongbow after the Anglo/ Norman invasion of Ireland in 1172.
Specifically, "The MacQuillans were lords of the territory of the Routes, in co. Antrim, holding their chief residence in the fine old sea-girt castle of Dunluce." MacLysaght agrees "The MacQillans are of Norman- Welsh descent: they settled soon after the invasion in the territory called the Route (co. Antrim.)" 
One of the first records of the family was Malcolm MacQuillan who died in 1307. Little is known of his heritage, but what we do know is that he was granted safe conduct by the English so he could assail Scottish forces, on Scotland's western seaboard, with his galley fleet. He was part of a fleet of eighteen galleys with 1,000 men who landed near Stranraer, now a town in southwest Scotland in Inch, Dumfries and Galloway. But, this force was quickly overwhelmed by local forces led by Dungal MacDouall. MacQuillan was captured and executed. His head and the heads from two Irish chiefs were sent back to King Edward I.
Early History of the Ailant family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ailant research. Another 217 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1315, 1442, 1542, 1559, 1750, 1307, 1300 and 1485 are included under the topic Early Ailant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ailant Spelling Variations
During the Middle Ages, a single person often had their name recorded by church officials and scribes many different ways. Names were typically spelt as they sounded, which resulted in many different spelling variations. The many versions of the name Ailant to have been recorded over the years include: McQuillan, McQuillen, McQuillian, McQuillin, McQuillon, McCailin, McAilin, MacQuillian, MacQuillon, MacCaillion, MacQuillin, MacQuillan, McKillan, McQuilland, McAiland, McAylin, McCaillion, McKillion, McKillin, McKillon, MacKillan, MacQuilland, MacAyland, MacAilan, Quillan and many more.
Early Notables of the Ailant family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family up to this time was Malcolm MacQuillan (died 1307) Irish nobleman who was granted safe conduct by the English so he could assail Scottish forces, on Scotland's western seaboard, with his galley fleet in July 1300. However, the invasion force was quickly overwhelmed by local forces. Malcolm was captured and summarily executed with the Irish sub king. The heads of McQuillan and two Irish chiefs were sent to King Edward I.
In 1485, Rory MacQuillan founded a late Franciscan foundation named Bonamargy Friary situated in County Antrim...
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ailant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ailant family
In the 1840s, Ireland experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Ailant: Andrew, Charles, James, John, Patrick, William McQuillan arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860; Edward, George, Patrick, Phillip, Roger and Thomas McQuillen all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.
Related Stories +
- ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)