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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Irish, Spanish

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


The surname Quillian 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]

Church officials and medieval scribes often simply spelled names as they sounded. As a result, a single person's name may have been recorded a dozen different ways during his lifetime. Spelling variations for the name Quillian 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.


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


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


The Irish emigration during the late 18th and 19th century contributed to the melting pot of nationalities in North America, and the building of a whole new era of industry and commerce in what was seen as a rich, new land. Ireland's Great Potato Famine resulted in the worst economic and social conditions in the island's history. And in response to the hunger, disease, and poverty, during this decade the total number of emigrants to leave for North America rivaled all the previous years combined. Those from this decade that arrived on North American shores were not warmly welcomed by the established population, but they were vital to the rapid development of the industry, agriculture, and infrastructure of the infant nations of the United States and what would become Canada. Research into early immigration and passenger lists has shown many people bearing the name Quillian:

Quillian Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Walter Quillian, aged 22, who landed in America, in 1892

Quillian Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • William Quillian, aged 33, who settled in America from Foxdale, Isle of Man, in 1907
  • W. F. Quillian, aged 29, who emigrated to the United States, in 1910
  • Mrs. Quillian, aged 20, who emigrated to the United States, in 1910
  • Peter Quillian, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1919
  • Frank Quillian, aged 46, who emigrated to the United States from Dalton in Furnes, England, in 1921


  • William H. Quillian, American literary critic, James Joyce scholar, Professor of English on the Emma B. Kennedy Foundation at Mount Holyoke College
  • William "Bill" Quillian (1933-1973), American tennis player who represented the United States in the Davis Cup (1958)


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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. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Quillian Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Quillian 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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