Show ContentsMacphilbin Surname History

When the ancestors of the Macphilbin family emigrated to England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 they brought their family name with them. They lived in Sussex, at the town of Pilbeam, which is now lost to the map.

Early Origins of the Macphilbin family

The surname Macphilbin was first found in Sussex where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, the name is from some village in Sussex not recorded in the Domesday Book for that county. Although the first recording of the name only appeared in 1296 when Adam Philbin held estates, it is presumed there is a close relationship to the Burke family, and the Philbin, which later became Pilbeam, was descended from the grandson of Richard de Burgo(Burke,) Governor of Ireland in 1219 whose name was Philipin. In Ireland they were recognized as 'English' and some branches of this family adopted that name also. Others adopted the name MacPhilbin. Meanwhile, the main branch Pilbeam or Philbeam, moved back to Sussex and settled there.

Early History of the Macphilbin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Macphilbin research. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1327, 1347 and 14 f are included under the topic Early Macphilbin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Macphilbin Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Macphilbin has been recorded under many different variations, including Pilbeam, Philbeam, MacPhilbin, Pilbean, Philbean, Pilbin and many more.

Early Notables of the Macphilbin family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Macphilbin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Macphilbin family to Ireland

Some of the Macphilbin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Macphilbin family

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Macphilbins were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: Michael Philbin, who settled in Baltimore, Md, in 1834; John Pilburn, who settled in Texas in 1835; and David Pilbeam, who was recorded in the census of Ontario, Canada in 1871..

The Macphilbin Motto +

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: Ung roy, ung foy, ung loy
Motto Translation: One king, one faith, one law.

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8) on Facebook