McWilliams Family History
The family history of the ancient name McWilliams was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The name McWilliams is usually of Scottish origin, they being a branch of the Scottish clan MacFarlane. This name is found in many ancient manuscripts in Scotland. Examples of such are a Henry MacWilliam who was Vicar of Logymar, recorded in 1521. Early records also relate to the 'MacWilliams of the Highlands', who were powerful Gaelic claimants for the Scottish throne, against King William the Lion. Names were recorded in these ancient documents to make it easier for the overlords to collect taxes and to keep records of the population at any given time. When the overlords acquired lands by either force or as gifts from their rulers, they created charters of ownership for themselves and their vassals. In Ulster Province in Ireland the name is found in the Gaelic form as MacUilliam, and is also an occasional variant of the name MacQuillan, especially in County Down.The McWilliams 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 McWilliams descendants.