McWilliam History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In the mountains of Scotland's west coast and on the Hebrides islands, the ancestors of the McWilliam family were born. Their name comes from the personal name William. The Gaelic form of the surname is Mac Uilleim, which means son of William.

Early Origins of the McWilliam family

The surname McWilliam was first found in on the Isle of Harris, 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.

Early History of the McWilliam family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McWilliam research. Another 121 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1187, 1215, and 1613 are included under the topic Early McWilliam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McWilliam Spelling Variations

In various documents McWilliam has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. MacWilliam, MacQuilliam, MacKilliam, MacWilliams, MacKullie, MacCullie, MacWillie and many more.

Early Notables of the McWilliam family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the McWilliam family to Ireland

Some of the McWilliam family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 69 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McWilliam migration to the United States +

The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name McWilliam or a variant listed above include:

McWilliam Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William McWilliam, who arrived in Maryland in 1766 [1]
  • Arch'd McWilliam, who landed in South Carolina in 1772 [1]
  • Janet McWilliam, who landed in South Carolina in 1772 [1]
  • Archibald McWilliam, who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1773
  • John McWilliam, aged 25, who arrived in New York in 1774 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
McWilliam Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James McWilliam, who landed in New York in 1800 [1]
  • Patrick McWilliam, aged 18, who landed in Maine in 1812 [1]
  • Christiana McWilliam, who arrived in America in 1845 [1]
  • Alexander, Charles, Daniel, Edward, Felix, Henry, Hugh, James, John, Michael, Patrick, Richard, Thomas, and William McWilliam all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860

Canada McWilliam migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McWilliam Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James McWilliam, aged 21, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the schooner "Sarah" from Belfast, Ireland

Australia McWilliam migration to Australia +

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

McWilliam Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Robert McWilliam, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nimroud"

New Zealand McWilliam 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:

McWilliam Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Elizabeth McWilliam, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Agra" in 1852
  • Mr. Alexander Mcwilliam, (b. 1837), aged 24, Scottish farm labourer from Wigtown travelling from London aboard the ship "Victoria" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 30th March 1862 [2]
  • Miss Jane Mcwilliam, (b. 1842), aged 21, British dairywoman travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Brothers Pride" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [3]
  • Mr. Joseph Mcwilliam, (b. 1864), aged Infant, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indian Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 24th March 1864 [3]
  • Mr. John Mcwilliam, (b. 1819), aged 45, British farm labourer travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indian Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 24th March 1864 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name McWilliam (post 1700) +

  • Richard McWilliam (1953-2013), American entrepreneur, co-founder of Upper Deck Company
  • Laralyn McWilliam (b. 1965), American game designer and video game producer
  • Carey McWilliam (b. 1973), American author, marksman and skydiver
  • Caroline Margaret McWilliam (1945-2010), American actress
  • R. C. McWilliam, American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Northumberland County, 1883-84 [4]
  • Jonathan McWilliam, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1856 [4]
  • Donald A. McWilliam, American politician, Mayor of Glendale, California, 1972-73 [4]
  • Blanche McWilliam, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Iowa, 1952 [4]
  • Archie McWilliam, American politician, Mayor of Glendale, California, 1944-45 [4]
  • Derek McWilliam (b. 1966), former Scottish footballer
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. John Mcwilliam, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking, was wounded in action [5]


Suggested Readings for the name McWilliam +

  • 1501 A Family History by George L. Williams.

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  5. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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