Last name: Hamilton

This famous and distinguished surname, with a total of one hundred entries in the "Dictionary of National Biography", and having no less than ninety-five Coats of Arms, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places throughout England named with the Olde English pre 7th Century "hamel", bare, scarred, treeless, with "dun", hill. These places include: Hamilton in Leicestershire recorded as "Hameldon" in 1220, and Hambledon in North Yorkshire, appearing as Hameldon" in records of that county, dated 1290. The noble Scottish family of the name, who hold many titles, including the Marquessate and Dukedom of Abercorn, and the Earldom of Haddington, are descended from Walter FitzGilbert de Hameldone, a Norman baron who gave his support to Robert the Bruce in the 13th Century. However, some bearers may derive their name from the town of Hamilton near Glasgow, founded by the Hamiltons, rather than from being members of the Norman family mentioned above. A branch of the family was established in Ireland by Sir Frederick Hamilton (died 1646). He later became governor of Ulster, and his descendants were created Viscounts Boyne. James Hamilton, first Earl of Abercorn (died 1617) was gentleman of the bedchamber to James V1, and Sir Thomas Hamilton, Lord Drumcairn and Earl of Melrose, became first Earl of Haddington in 1626. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wauter fiz Gilbert de Hamildone, which was dated 1296, in the "Scottish Homage Roll of Renfrewshire", during the reign of John Balliol of Scotland, 1292 - 1296. 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 - 2015

Want to dig deeper into your family history? Take a look at our page on building a Family Tree. Or get scientific and enter the exciting world of Ancestral DNA!

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.
PayPal Acceptance Mark
Surname Scroll

Lyndsey Hamilton (Swansea)
Thankyou for this information, i didnt realise there were so many hamiltons around!!! my family come from county wexford in Ireland (never met them though) and it would be lovely for us to get in touch.

Joseph Hamilton
Thank you I am really exited to be a part of the Hamilton namesake My mother has quite a geneology on her maiden name, and is now researching the Hamilton name.

Patrick James Hamilton
Thank you for the details and to your contributors. I live in Kent, England, but originally came from Kilkenny in Ireland. I was always curious about our origins, particularly the technical, scientific and mathematical interests that seem to run through the family. Then I read about Sir William Rowan Hamilton from Dublin when I studied the Hamiltonian Operator in University Mathematics. I like the name.

barbara maybelle hamilton
im just a Hamilton wanting to know the family tree of " Hamiltons". i have been on facebook with my dads cousin Thomas Hamilton and he"s been of great help taking some back to Scotland & Ireland. told me about the town of Hamilton. i would really like to know more if anyone can help. my dads name is Wayne stewart Hamilton. his dads name was Robert who married Maybelle V. Mcclain

Lia Hamilton
Wow there is a lot of hamiltons! I didn't know we were scottish! I live in nottingamshire