Hamilton / Family History
The ancient origin of the name Hamilton was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The founder of the famous Scottish family of Hamilton was Walter, son of Gilbert de Hameldone, to whom Bruce gave the barony of Cadzow in Larnarkshire celebrated as the home of the Old white Caledonian cattle. Sir James the Hamilton, Lord of Cadzow under James II, was in 1445 created Lord Hamilton. By his wife, Princess Mary, sister of James III, he had James, second Lord, created Earl of Arran in 1502, whose son James, second Earl, the Regent Arran of Mary Queen of Scots childhood, founded Hamilton Palace, and was declared by parliament after her next heir to the throne. His son John became Marquis of Hamilton in 1599, and James, third Marquis, became Duke of Hamilton 1643. William second Duke died in defence of Charles II at Worcester in 1651. In Ireland the Hamiltons are often of immigrant origin with one famous family arriving from Scotland and becoming so successful that they even gave their name to the town of Manorhamilton in County Leitrim. The name Hamill is another variant of this name in Ireland and is still quite widespread to this very day.The Hamilton family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Hamilton descendants.