Quilliam History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Welsh name Quilliam is a patronymic surname derived from the personal name William, which is in turn derived from the Old German names Willihelm and Willelm (the Norman French version was Guillaume). Following the Norman Conquest of 1066, William became the most popular personal name in Britain for a time.
Early Origins of the Quilliam family
The surname Quilliam was first found in Breconshire and Monmouthshire on the English/ Welsh border, where they are traditionally believed to be descended from Brychan Brecheiniog who was Lord of Brecknock at the time of King Arthur of the Round Table.
The mediaeval seat of the ancestors of the Quilliam family was at Llangibby Castle in County Monmouth. More recently, the family is descended through Rhys Goch, the red haired Lord Ystradyw from Caradog Vreichvras.
One of the first records of the name was listed as Robertus filius Willelmi  which was listed in the Domesday Book.  Other early records include Richard Williams who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1279 and John Wylyam who was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296.
Early History of the Quilliam family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Quilliam research. Another 134 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1846, 1739, 1604, 1683, 1636, 1635, 1666, 1660, 1661, 1641, 1656, 1679, 1623, 1692, 1668, 1696, 1689, 1696, 1688, 1696, 1621, 1712, 1675, 1679 and are included under the topic Early Quilliam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Quilliam Spelling Variations
Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Quilliam has occasionally been spelled Williams, Quilliams, Guilliam, Guilliams and others.
Early Notables of the Quilliam family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Roger Williams (c.1604-1683), English-born, American clergyman, founder of the colony of Providence Plantation in 1636; Sir Henry Williams, 2nd Baronet (c. 1635-1666), a Welsh politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1661; John Williams, Archbishop of York in 1641; Nathaniel Williams (1656-c.1679), a Welsh writer from Swansea; Sir Trevor Williams, 1st Baronet (c. 1623-1692) of Llangibby, Monmouthshire...
Another 70 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Quilliam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Quilliam family to Ireland
Some of the Quilliam family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Quilliam 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:
Quilliam Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- James Quilliam, aged 46, a stonemason, who arrived in Taranaki aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1878
- Ellen Quilliam, aged 46, who arrived in Taranaki aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1878
- Louise Quilliam, aged 16, a servant, who arrived in Taranaki aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1878
- Thomas Quilliam, aged 14, who arrived in Taranaki aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1878
- James Quilliam, aged 12, who arrived in Taranaki aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1878
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Quilliam (post 1700) +
- William Henry Quilliam (1856-1932), English convert from Christianity to Islam who founded England's first mosque and Islamic centre
- Susan Quilliam (b. 1950), English psychologist and author of 21 books
- Captain John Quilliam RN (1771-1829), Manx Royal Navy officer and the First Lieutenant on HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar
Related Stories +
The Quilliam 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: Ensuivant la verite
Motto Translation: By following the truth.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)