Willyams History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Welsh name Willyams 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 Willyams family
The surname Willyams 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 Willyams 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 Willyams family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willyams 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 Willyams History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Willyams Spelling Variations
Although there are not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Willyams has seen various spelling variations: Williams, Quilliams, Guilliam, Guilliams and others.
Early Notables of the Willyams 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 Willyams Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Willyams family to Ireland
Some of the Willyams 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.
Migration of the Willyams family
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in search of land, work, and freedom. These immigrants greatly contributed to the rapid development of the new nations of Canada and the United States. They also added a rich and lasting cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Willyams: 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.
Related Stories +
The Willyams 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)