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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

The surname McQuillen is derived from the personal name Hugelin, which is a diminutive of Hugh. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Uighilin.


During an investigation of the origin of each name, it was found that church officials and medieval scribes spelled many surnames as they sounded. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, a name could be spelt numerous ways. Some of the spelling variations for the name McQuillen 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.

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]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McQuillen research. Another 277 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1315, 1500 and 1750 are included under the topic Early McQuillen History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early McQuillen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Ireland experienced a dramatic decrease in its population during the 19th century. This was in a great measure, a response to England's imperialistic policies. Hunger and disease took the lives of many Irish people and many more chose to leave their homeland to escape the horrific conditions. North America with its promise of work, freedom, and land was an extremely popular destination for Irish families. For those families that survived the journey, all three of these things were often attained through much hard work and perseverance. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name McQuillen:

McQuillen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John McQuillen, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1772
  • Edward McQuillen, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773

McQuillen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • George McQuillen, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1860
  • Edward, George, Patrick, Phillip, Roger, and Thomas McQuillen all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
  • Dan N. McQuillen, aged 38, who landed in America, in 1895
  • Emily Price McQuillen, aged 33, who settled in America, in 1895
  • Mary McQuillen, aged 32, who emigrated to America from Drogheda, in 1898

McQuillen Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Bridget McQuillen, aged 14, who settled in America from Liverpool, in 1901
  • Minnie McQuillen, aged 20, who landed in America from Tullynahanera, Monaghan, in 1906
  • Rose Ann McQuillen, aged 23, who settled in America from Drogreda, Ireland, in 1907
  • John McQuillen, aged 31, who landed in America, in 1909
  • Owen McQuillen, aged 20, who emigrated to the United States from Stanley, England, in 1910

McQuillen Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Owen McQuillen arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constance" in 1849


  • Bob McQuillen (1923-2014), American teacher, musician, and prolific composer of contra dance tunes
  • Glenn Richard "Red" McQuillen (1915-1989), American Major League Baseball reserve outfielder


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  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)

Other References

  1. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  2. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. 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).
  6. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  7. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  8. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  9. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The McQuillen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McQuillen 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 18 June 2015 at 16:10.

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