The Scots - Irish Branch
he name is ancient and believed to
have derived from a place name, in Old English, a "Ham", together
with the word "tun", atown.
The Irish family came to the country from
Scotland in the time of the Ulster Plantation (1610) Some Hamiltons were
there before that time. Some are listed among the gentry in County Down
in 1598. Sir Alexander Hamilton of Endervicke was granted 2,000
acres and his son, Sir Claude was granted 1,000. All, of course was land
taken from the native Irish. The most prominent of the Hamiltons
today is the Duke of Abercorn. The family was divided by the
Reformation and the majority became Protestants.
Numbered among the
Ulster family were James Archibald Hamilton (1747 - 1815) an
astronomer, and Rev. William Hamilton (1755 - 1797), a
The name was and still is very common in
Of course, the original Hamiltons did
not have enough children to account for all the Hamilton
families. Until the 13th - 14th centuries families in the
British Isles had no surnames. When they became necessary, many
families took the name of the lord, whose tenant they were. Once assumed
the name would stick, even if the landlord changed or the family left
the desmaine. This is undoubtedly the story with our
Mac Annaidh, S'eamas, Irish History, Parragon Publishing,
Bath, UK, 2002
Pine, L. G. , The Origin of Surnames, Charles Tuttle,
Rutland, VT., 1966.
MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families: their names, arms, and
origins, Crown Publishers, NY, 1972.