McQuillan Family History
The family history of the ancient name McQuillan was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Although the name McQuillan is of Norman-Welsh descent, it is regarded as an Irish name as it is from Ireland that all descendants of the name originate. The original bearers of the name settled in Ireland soon after the 1170 invasion in the territory called 'the Route' in County Antrim, and were known as 'Lords of the Route' with their chief residence at the Castle of Dunluce. Following their major defeat at the battle of Ora in 1563 and again in 1580 by Sorley Boy McDonnell, they were finally dispersed by the McDonnells. In 1315 the McQuillan chief of the day joined Edward Bruce. By that time they had become indistinguishable from any native Gaelic sept and were, in the words of a contemporary, 'as Irish as the worst'. Many of the rank and file of the sept remained in Ulster as is evidenced by the prevalence of the name in Counties Antrim and Armagh.The McQuillan 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 McQuillan descendants.