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Where did the Williams coat of arms come from? When did the Williams family first arrive in the United States?

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Coat of Arms > Williams Coat of Arms

Williams Coat of Arms
 Williams Coat of Arms

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Origin Displayed: Welsh

Origins Available: German, Welsh

Spelling variations of this family name include: Williams, Quilliams, Guilliam, Guilliams and others.

First found in Breconshire and Monmouthshire on the English/Welsh border, where the Williams family was seated from very ancient times.

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: David Williams and Elizabeth Williams, who both settled in Virginia in 1623; as did Edward Williams in 1624; Richard Williams, who came to Maine in 1630.

(From www.HouseOfNames.com Archives copyright 2000 - 2009)

Motto Translated: By following the truth.

Suggested Readings for the name Williams
The Ancestors and Descendants of Ebenezer and Martha Porter Williams of Painesville, Ohio by Percy Williams Lewis, The Ancestor; The World of William Williams by John Francis Williams, Diamonds in the Desert: The Family History of Bill and Gertie Williams by Billie William Yost.

Some noteworthy people of the name Williams
  • Major Charles Quincy Williams (1933-1982), United States Army officer and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Vietnam War
  • Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), well-known American playwright, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, 1948 and 1955 and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Archie Williams (1915-1993), American engineer and Olympic gold medalist at the 1936 Olympic Games
  • Hiram King Williams (1923-1952), better known as Hank Williams Sr., popular country music singer and songwriter
  • Robin Williams (1951-2014), American Academy Award-winning entertainer, actor, and comedian
  • Richard "Dick" Norris Williams II (1891-1968), famed American tennis player and a survivor of the RMS Titanic disaster in April 1912 by escaping in life boat A
  • Myrna Williams (1905-1993), original name of Myrna Loy, American actress, best known for her roles with William Powell in the Thin Man films
  • Jody Williams (b. 1950), American teacher and aid worker awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize
  • Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981), American jazz pianist
  • John Towner Williams (1932-1839), American composer, conductor, and pianist, five-time winner of the Academy Award, four Golden Globe Awards, seven BAFTA Awards and 21 Grammy Awards


Learn More About Welsh Surnames



Most Welsh surnames are patronymic; that is, they are derived from a personal name of an ancestor. In the Middle Ages, the prefixes ap, ab (son of) and ferch (daughter of) were commonly found in Welsh surnames. Welsh names used to include strings of patronymics going back through the generations, until the 16th century when people began to use fixed hereditary surnames. However, some surnames' prefixes can still be found today in many Welsh surnames, such as Prince, Probert, Bowen (ap Owen), and Beddoes. Henry VIII frowned upon this nomenclature and thus began the great change in Welsh surnames



The Black Prince, or Edward, Prince of Wales, (1330-76), is thought to have gained his nickname due to the color of his armor -- jet black. However, this claim cannot be verified. Contrary to popular conceptions, period illustrations typically depict him in silver or gilt armor, not black. He may have gained this moniker because he wore a black surcoat with a silver plume. Yet a more fantastic notion also circulates. Many hold the opinion that he was labeled black because of his skill as a knight or because he was often merciless towards the vanquished. His sacking of the town of Limoges in 1370 gives some credence to the latter notion. After taking the town, all its inhabitants were slaughtered, with no consideration to age or gender.



Writers and historians have long been divided on the truth of the many different tellings of the stories of Arthur, the great Welsh king of Britain. Although many now think that there is some truth underlying the widely varying accounts, the hard facts surrounding Arthur's reign are almost completely obscured in a mist of myths and legends. Like all legends, these tales evolved over many centuries. Their telling and retelling over those years, while it may have left them somewhat lacking in truth, has emphasized and expanded their most compelling parts, making the Arthurian saga as glorious and prolific a body of stories as any, in fact or fiction.


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This page was last modified on 27 March 2015 at 18:29.

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