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Surname MacQuillan - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'M'

MacQuillan: What does the surname MacQuillan mean?

MacQuillan is an Irish surname of Gaelic origin, derived from the name Mac Uighilin meaning 'son of Hugelin.' It is an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic "Mac Uighilin," which translates as 'the son of the descendant of Uighilin'. Uighilin is the Gaelic version of a Norman personal name, thought to mean 'high desire' from the elements 'hug' meaning heart, mind, spirit and 'flame' meaning desire. The MacQuillans were originally a powerful family in the north of County Antrim, Ireland. They lost their power around the late 16th century but the name remains. The last name MacQuillan is widely distributed throughout Ireland, particularly in Counties Antrim and Mayo. It is also found in Scotland due to historical migration and shared Celtic roots.

MacQuillan: Where does the name MacQuillan come from?

The surname MacQuillan originates from Ireland, specifically from the northern region of Ulster. The name itself is derived from the Gaelic "Mac Uighilin," which means "son of Hugelin." The MacQuillans were once a powerful family in the area known as the Route, in Co. Antrim, during the late Middle Ages. They were known to be quite influential until the end of the 16th century, when their power waned due to conflicts with other families.

Today, the surname MacQuillan, which also has a number of different spellings such as MacQuillin or McQuillan, is not very common but can be found in a number of countries. It remains most prevalent in Northern Ireland due to historical ties. However, due to historical emigration patterns, especially during the Great Famine in the mid-19th century, the surname can also be found in significant numbers in Australia, the United States, and Canada among descendants of Irish emigrants.

Variations of the surname MacQuillan

The surname MacQuillan is of Irish origin and generally used by the ancient Dalriadan clans of Scotland's west coast and Hebrides islands. This surname has been spelled in various ways over centuries due to chroniclers and church officials recording names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several spellings. Some of these variants include: MacQuillin, MacWillan, MacQuillen, MacGwillan, MacGillon, MacQuillon, MacWillin, and MacGwillin.

Mac or Mc prefix often indicates 'son of' in surnames of Scottish or Irish origin. So, all of these variants mean 'son of Quillan' or 'son of Gwillan', depending on the interpretation.

Another showcase of its diversity is that it can be Anglicized into alternative forms like McQuillan or McQuillian. People with the surname MacQuillan can be based in many different countries, including Ireland, Scotland, and the United States. Overseas, in particular, the surname may have been altered to fit a country's language and pronunciation patterns.

The roots of these diverse variations lie in an ancient Gaelic form, Mac Uighilin, descended from the Irish noble, Hugelin, son of Gilbert, who came to Ireland during the Anglo-Norman invasion in the late 12th century.

Famous people with the name MacQuillan

  • Seth MacQuillan: Canadian poet, visual artist, and editor
  • Patrick MacQuillan: Canadian Film and television actor
  • Kirmit MacQuillan: Scottish actor
  • Steve MacQuillan: Former British professional basketball player
  • Mike MacQuillan: British sound engineer
  • Julian MacQuillan: British Painter
  • Laurie MacQuillan: Canadian artist
  • Peter MacQuillan: Irish painter
  • Keith MacQuillan: British actor, comedian and screenwriter 10.Shelly MacQuillan: Canadian actor and singer 11.Cameron MacQuillan: Canadian singer-songwriter 12.Allan MacQuillan: Former British professional swimmer 13.John MacQuillan: Scottish novelist 14.Max MacQuillan: Canadian actor and musician 15.Cal MacQuillan: British actor 16.Anestis MacQuillan: Greek Politician 17.Hugh MacQuillan: Former Scottish rugby player 18.Kirk MacQuillan: Canadian actor and producer 19.Moran MacQuillan: Irish poet and journalist 20.Kym MacQuillan: British actress, writer, and producer

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