Hamilton Arms


 

 

 

Family Data

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Hamilton

The Scots - Irish Branch

T

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 naturalist.

The name was and still is very common in Northern Ireland.

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 Hamiltons.

Sources:

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.

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