McQuillan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname McQuillan 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 McQuillan family

The surname McQuillan 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.)" [1]

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 McQuillan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McQuillan 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 McQuillan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McQuillan Spelling Variations

Names were simply spelled as they sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, his name was often spelt in many different ways, explaining the many spelling variations encountered while researching the name McQuillan. Some of these variations included: 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 McQuillan 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 McQuillan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McQuillan migration to the United States +

Irish immigration to North American began in the late 18th century as many Irish families desired to own their own land. This pattern of immigration grew slowly yet steadily until the 1840s. At that time, a failed crop and a growing population in Ireland resulted in the Great Potato Famine. Poverty, disease, and starvation ravaged the land. To ease their pain and suffering the Irish often looked upon North America as a solution: hundreds of thousands undertook the voyage. Their arrival meant the growth of industry and commerce for British North America and the United States. For the individual Irishman, it meant survival and hope, and the opportunity for work, freedom, and ownership of land. The early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name McQuillan:

McQuillan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Agnes McQuillan, aged 16, who landed in New Castle, Del in 1804 [2]
  • Andw McQuillan, aged 40, who arrived in New Castle, Del in 1804 [2]
  • Mark McQuillan, aged 21, who arrived in New York, NY in 1804 [2]
  • Richard McQuillan, aged 23, who landed in America in 1822 [2]
  • A McQuillan, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia McQuillan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

McQuillan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John McQuillan, aged 17, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Constance" [3]
  • Owen McQuillan, aged 20, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Constance" [3]
  • Catherine McQuillan, aged 19, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Epaminondas" [4]
  • Owen McQuillan, aged 24, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Time and Truth" [5]
  • John McQuillan, aged 32, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Time and Truth" [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand McQuillan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McQuillan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Ellen Mcquillan, (b. 1842), aged 20, British dairymaid travelling from London aboard the ship "Echunga" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th December 1862 [6]
  • Mr. Alexander McQuillan, (b. 1853), aged 22, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Helen Denny" arriving in Hawkes Bay, Napier, North Island, New Zealand on 20th September 1875 [6]
  • John McQuillan, aged 21, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rangitikei" in 1884

Contemporary Notables of the name McQuillan (post 1700) +

  • George Watt McQuillan (1885-1940), American pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies(1907-1910) and (1915-1916), Cincinnati Reds (1911), Pittsburgh Pirates (1913-1915) and Cleveland Indians (1918)
  • John M. McQuillan (b. 1949), American computer scientist
  • Herbert R. "Hub" McQuillan (1891-1972), American football and basketball coach
  • Alvin Hugh McQuillan (1895-1947), American pitcher in Major League Baseball
  • James "Jim" McQuillan (b. 1940), Irish former darts player, Ireland’s first ever News of the World Darts Championship Divisional Champion in 1974
  • Jack McQuillan (1920-1998), Irish politician, trade union official and army officer from Ballyforan, County Roscommon
  • Michael McQuillan (b. 1959), Irish retired sportsperson
  • Michael Liam McQuillan, Scottish mathematician studying algebraic geometry
  • Rachel McQuillan (b. 1971), Australian retired professional tennis player; she won a bronze medal in doubles at the 1992 Summer Olympics
  • Matt McQuillan (b. 1981), Canadian professional PGA golfer from Kingston, Ontario
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. William McQuillan, aged 26, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on collapsible A [7]


Suggested Readings for the name McQuillan +

  • 4583 The McQuillan Family of Ulster by Mildred Irwin Rania.

  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CONSTANCE 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Constance.htm
  4. ^ South Australian Register Monday 26th December 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Epaminondas 1853. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/epaminondas1853.shtml.
  5. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 9th May 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Time and Truth 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/timeandtruth1854.shtml.
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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