- This is a Manx form of the Old Scots Gaelic name Mac Uilleim. The Gaelic prefix 'mac' means 'son of' plus 'Uilleim', a Gaelic form of William, itself coming from the German Wilhelm composed of the elements 'wil' meaning 'will' or 'desire', plus 'helm', a 'helmet' or 'protection'. The clan Mac Mhic Uilleim are descended from William, son of William fifth chief of Macleod. Henry MakWilliam or Makwillzam was appointed in 1521 as vicar of Logymar. On February 2nd 1835 Margaret Quilliam married William Henry Laughton in Henry Quillam married Joney Brew on December 1st 1685 in Jueby, the Isle of Man. Variants of the surname include, Makilliam, MacWilliams and Macwilam. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Callum Mc Quilliam of Glenlyoun, which was dated 1682 - 'Register of the Privy Council of Scotland', during the reign of King Charles II, 'The Merry Monarch', 1660 - 1685. 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.