Show ContentsWillie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The age-old Scottish surname Willie was first used by the Strathclyde-Briton people. The Willie family lived in Dumfries where today more often than not, the name is typically spelt either Wylie or Wyllie. [1]

Early Origins of the Willie family

The surname Willie was first found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhùn Phris), where the first on record was Donald Wyly, tenant of Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, 1376. Later, John Wili held a land in Montrose, 1431, and Robert Wylye was vicar of Kilcoldrum, 1434. William Wyly, was a witness in Prestwick, Ayrshire, 1446, Robert Wyly, was a charter witness in Glasgow, 1454, and Richard Wyly, was vicar of Dundee in 1458. [1]

Early History of the Willie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willie research. Another 218 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1509, 1529, 1530, 1550, 1563, 1575, 1590, 1642, 1643, 1645, 1653, 1659, 1680, 1768, 1772, 1790, 1794, 1799, 1801, 1802, 1808, 1819, 1827, 1828, 1829, 1831, 1833, 1835, 1839, 1841, 1847, 1850, 1852, 1853, 1854, 1855, 1857, 1858, 1859, 1860, 1862, 1865, 1870, 1871, 1890 and 1891 are included under the topic Early Willie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Willie Spelling Variations

In Medieval times, spelling and translation were not nearly so highly developed as today. They were generally carried out according to the sound and intuition of the bearer. For that reason spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Willie has been spelled Wiley, Wylie, Whyley, Wyley, Wilie, Wyllie and others.

Early Notables of the Willie family

Notable amongst the family at this time was George Wyllys or Wyllis (1590-1645), born at the manor of Fenny Compton in Warwickshire, an English-born, early American politician who served as the 4th Governor of the Connecticut Colony (1642-1643.)Sir James Wylie (1768-1854), Scottish physician at the court of Russia, was born at Kincardine-on-Forth in 1768. His parents (William Wylie and Janet Meiklejohn) were in a humble position. He received the degree of M.D. from King's College, Aberdeen, on 22 Dec. 1794. In 1790 he entered the Russian service as senior...
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Willie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Willie Ranking

In the United States, the name Willie is the 4,980th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Willie family to Ireland

Some of the Willie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 74 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 Willie migration to the United States +

Unrest, poverty, and persecution caused thousands to look for opportunity and freedom in the North American colonies. The crossing was long, overcrowded, and unsanitary, though, and came only at great expense. Many Strathclyde families settled on the east coast of North America in communities that would form the backbone of what would become the great nations of the United States and Canada. The American War of Independence caused those who remained loyal to England to move north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the 20th century, Strathclyde and other Scottish families across North America began to recover their collective heritage through highland games and Clan societies. Among them:

Willie Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Willie, who arrived in Virginia in 1658 [3]

Canada Willie migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Willie Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. George Willie U.E. who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 member of the Port Matoon Association [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Willie (post 1700) +

  • Charles Vert Willie (1927-2022), American sociologist from Dallas, Texas, Charles William Eliot Professor of Education, Emeritus at Harvard University
  • Asa Hoxie Willie (1829-1899), American Democratic Party politician, Justice of Texas State Supreme Court, 1866, 1882-88; U.S. Representative from Texas at-large, 1873-75
  • James Willie (1823-1865), American politician, Member of Texas State House of Representatives, 1846; Texas State Attorney General, 1856-58
  • J. C. Willie, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Florida, 1904
  • Dave Willie, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Wisconsin, 2000
  • John Willie Drummond (1919-2016), American politician, Member of the South Carolina Senate (1966-2008)
  • John Willie Higson, English professional rugby league footballer of the 1900s who played for Great Britain (1908-1909) and England (1908-1909)
  • Little Willie Littlefield (b. 1931), American R&B and boogie-woogie pianist and singer
  • James Willie Harbot (1907-1992), English footballer
  • Joseph Willie Comeau (1876-1966), Canadian educator and politician in Nova Scotia

The Willie 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: Fides
Motto Translation: Faith.

  1. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X on Facebook