Last name: Magill

This notable surname, long-established in Scotland and in Ireland, is an Anglicized form of the Old Scots Gaelic "Mac an Ghoill", son of the Lowlander or Stranger, or the Old Irish equivalent "Mac an Ghaill", son of the Foreigner. The ultimate origin of "goill" and "gaill" (above) is the Celtic "gall", applied in the Highlands of Scotland to people from the English-speaking lowlands and to Scandinavians, and in Ireland, to settlers from England and Wales who arrived in the wake of the Anglo-Norman Invasion of 1170. The surname first appears on record in Scotland in the early 13th Century (see below). One James M'Gill or Makgill, burgess of Edinburgh in 1550, was Clerk of the Register in 1572. It is interesting to note that the patronymic "Mac an Ghaill" was assumed by some branches of the Norman family of Stapleton who came to Ireland following the Anglo-Norman Invasion, and who settled in the south eastern counties of Kilkenny and Waterford. In Petty's 1659 "census" of all Ireland, the names MacGill and Magill are particularly widespread in the County Antrim barony of Glenarm. These families were descended from Scottish gallowglasses or professional soldiers who came to Ireland during the Plantation of Ulster. On April 14th 1724, Henry Magill and Sibilla Blakely were married at Clones, County Monaghan, and on June 25th 1847, John Magill, a famine emigrant to New York, embarked from Newry on the ship "La-Grange" bound for that port. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Maurice Macgeil, charter witness, which was dated 1231, in "Records of the Church of St. Thomas the Martyr", Arbroath, Scotland, during the reign of King Alexander 11 of Scotland, 1214 - 1249. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017

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Carole Lennox
This is truly a long shot, but I was wondering if anyone could help me find my biological grandfather who was called Billy Magill or William Magill. From what I know his family was involved in the Salvation Army church in Belfast perhaps in the Shankhill area. He probably was in his twenties during the first world war. My father was taken to Canada when he was about fourteen years old by his mother, Maggie. I, along with my sister and brother Live in Canada. Any info would be appreciated.

jean millar
Even a professional cant help me! looking for info on my Gt Gt Gt grandmother Helen Mcgill born Ireland 1814 father William Mcgill mother Mary ? she died 1887 in Scotland she had married a David Donaldson in 1834! but I cant find out ANYTHING BEFORE she married? HELP I am really stuck now! Cheers Jean

Madison Magill
Im a magill! Lol

Aaron Magill
Another Magill here! My Grandfather was Billy Magill and Grandmother is Winifred Magill (nee Holmes) of the Hornby Street area of east Belfast. They had two sons, Tommy (my father) and William. Hopefully someone with a connection will get in touch. :0)

Mary Alice Magill

I am related to you. My f. was Chester Thayer Magill, my GF. was Charles Franklin Magill, my ggf. was Hugh Stewart Magill, who was the brother of William Alexander Magill, who married Mary Barnes and they moved to WI. Please email.

Joseph Fitzgerald

My maternal grandfather was Robert Alexander Magill. He was born 9 Dec 1885 in Armagh, N. Ireland. He married Katharine Levenia Richardson in 1912, in Armagh and emigrated to Canada the same year. Unfortunately, the story ends there. I cannot find any information about him before that, that is clear in his ancestry that is traceable, without a doubt. He died in Agassiz, British Columbia, Canada in September 1950. If you have any info that can help, it would be greatly appreciated. Please email to

Gregory Cooper
McGill here, from my mothers side of the family. I have traced her family back to John Magill (born in 1679 in Down, Dromore, Ireland). I am trying to see how far back I can go with this. He had a son, Joseph Magill but eventually in the records his name evolves to Joseph McGill. Is this pretty common?

Laura Magill
Scottish Magill here, born 1989 to James Kenneth Walter Magill (1964) and Margaret Magill nee. Rankin in Paisley, Scotland; JKWM son of Marion Magill (1924) and Robert Magill (deceased) of Belfast. JKWM siblings: Margaret Magill (now Dorris), Joseph Magill (deceased), Sara Magill (now Adam) and Robert Magill (deceased).

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