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.

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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

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.

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)


I dont suppose your WILLIAN married a Mary and had a daughter Helen born 1814? Cheers Jean

Madison Magill
Im a magill! Lol

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

Jeanine Johnson

I am the Granddaughter of Mildred Marion Magill of Beloit, WI. She married Maurice Sprague. There are many Magill relatives in Wisconsin and my grandfather did exhaustive genealogy research for most of his life. A cousin of my mother's visited a home in Quilly in Ireland but I am not aware that she discovered more of the family trail. Anyone have more pieces to this? Thanks

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.

janette williamson
Hi, wondering if any of you Magills could be related to mine. Researching my family tree I found one of my relatives Elizabeth Magill nee Thompson married a James Magill in 1895, he was born in Belfast. Their second son was William George Magill, he was born in Hamilton, SCOTLAND, in 1900 where Elizabeth's family had emigrated from Lurgan in Ireland around about the same time.The Magills went back to Ireland shortly after his birth. I believe William George married a Mary Ewart in Ireland in 1921 and emigrated to Ontario in CANADA.

william christopher magill
I am the grandson of Mary and William Magill who you speak of let me know what you need to know about the Canadian connection i will be glad to let you know as much as I can Chris

janette williamson

hi, Chris and Kate, I have been researching my family tree (Thompson), and know that my gg grandfather Robert came to Hamilton in Scotland in the late 1800's leaving Elizabeth behind in Ireland where she married James Magill. Her oldest boy was born in Americawhere they must have gone after they were married, and William was born in Hamilton, Scotland where for some reason they must have returned. I would love to know more. janette

Mary Kathleen (Kate) Magill
By chance I went to this site today and see that my brother Chris has replied to your query. I also have information on the family and would like to exchange what we have.

janette williamson

Hi again Kate and Chris, I am going to leave my email address on the site in the hope you look back in. It is Kate I sent you a email to your address but you may not have received it or you may have changed it. I was so excited that at last I have a little link to the family. Good luck to you all and hopefully I will hear back one way or another. Yours Janette Williamson.

Brian Magill
My father, who died in 1973, was Bernard "Barney" Magill, born in Belfast in 1911 and he was one of six children born to Hugh. He left NI and went to sea at 18 years, only to return a few times in his lifetime. The last was with my brother and i in 1960, when we were only 7 years old and i would like to hear from anyone and help connect with our heritage.

Cathy Broderick
Brian, my grandfather was Hugh Magill his wife was Anne, they had Eddie, Barney, Kitty, Anne, Malachy, Charlotte, and a set of twins... What I knew of my uncle Barney was that he had a few sets of twins, the last being boys......I am the daughter of Anne Magill then married J Broderick. Would this be any way helpful Cathy


Just checking if you got my email cathy

My grand father was William Magill and he was born breed and lived his whole life in Belfast. I think he married Margaret McGibbon on 25/12 /1902 They had 3 children George 1910. William 1912. Mary Cathrine 1920

Laurie Magill
Just checking in to see what's new and say hello!

Agnes Vrolyk
My father's family came from Northern Ireland in the 1920's to Canada. They landed in Newfoundland somewhere and made their way to the prairies. The Family name is Magill but during the big immigration from Ireland the name was changed to McGill and was never corrected so some of your relatives may have this other spelling. My father and his parents went back to Ireland around 1937 and then moved to Scotland around 1941. My grandfather John McGill died in 1944 and my grandmother Hannah Mcgill died in 1964. They are both buried in Glasgow Scotland. My father returned to Canada in 1967 with his own young family. I was born in Glasgow Scotland and now reside in Victoria BC Canada. My name is Agnes (McGill) Vrolyk.(aka Nan McGill).

Laurie Magill
Hi Lesley, I'm from the Toronto area in Canada. My Grandfather was from the Belfast area in Ireland. Also, I know that he died in 1954 from heart disease which apparently also runs on my fathers side of the family. My father, David Grant Magill, passed in 1996 at the age of 57 from heart disease, also. I have an Uncle Jim that I have not seen since my fathers funeral. He is Jehovah's Witness and we were never really close.

james ross mckee
hi laurie, i am nans son

doug magill
My grand father was Henry Magill and my Grandmother was Jennave Magill. My grandmother was from italy and Henry was born here in New Jersery but was considered a bastard child because he was born out of wed-lock. He took on the name Mcgill from his mother but got called a bastard most of his life so changed the C to A to defect from the family. Dont know how much of that is true but if anyone else knows anything it would be great to hear. Thank you.....Doug

Lesley Magill
Hi - where are you both from? I'm in Australia married to a Magill. He is in the same boat, not knowing too much about his family. He moved here from Belfast 22 years ago. His parents and grandparents were also from Belfast and his sisters still live there. His father was Samuel White Magill and his father was Jimmy (from my vague memory). I know both father and grandfather worked on the Belfast docks. Apparently some of Samuel's family (brother?) also moved to Canada so my husband has first cousin's there but also has no contact. My husband's mother's name was Margaret.. Both have since passed away. My husband is 48. Would be wonderful to know more!

Laurie Magill
Everytime I look up info on the Magill Family name to trace it from my roots in Canada back to Ireland I can only find immigrants to the US. My granddfather Jim(James) Creighton Magill (of Jim Magill and the Norhtern Ramblers) moved to Toronto in the early 1900s. He died when my father was 15 in 1953, I believe. My father has also passed and I am curious to find my roots but have no one to ask.

chris magill
hey laurie im chris magill from the isle of man my father is from belfast as are all of his side of the family he has often said to me that we have family in canada but im the same boat dont really know where to start looking

Laurie Magill
That's fantastic!! My dad used to tell me about talking to family from there when I was around 14. I'm 39 now so it was a long time ago and i was never introduced to them, I've been very interested since. I"m sure that with the small population of true Magills in Canada it is very likely that we are but I have no way of finding out because I dont know any. of my ancestors names before my grandfather was born in Belfast. I"m excited if we are cousins.

Catherine Stark
My Grandfather is Joseph Magill. His brother was Jim Magill. He too was in the band and played bass. I believe we are cousins!

Quintin Magill - grandson of Jim Magill who was son of James Creighton Magill
My great grandfathers name was James Creighton Magill and he played for the Northern Ramblers. I have also been trying to track my heritage. have you found anything.

Laurie Magill
Well Hello Quintin! I am your 2nd cousin, Laurie. Your grandfather, Jim is my uncle and your grandmother is my Aunt Kay(by marriage). My father, Dave Magill, was your Grandfather Jim's brother. Of my three cousin's, who's son are you? I'm sorry I'm just getting this now. I hope everyone is well. Take care. I look forward to hearing from you. Laurie

Terry Magill
I have some information on the Magill family, but it is spotty to say the least. If anyone has a history of the Magill family from as far back as possible, I would appreciate any and all info. Thank you, Terrell J. Magill