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The Welsh name Williams is a patronymic surname derived from the personal name William, which in turn is derived from the old German names willihelm and willelm (the Norman French version was Guillaume). after the norman conquest of 1066, william became the most popular personal name in britain for a time.
early origins of the williams family
the surname williams was first found in breconshire and monmouthshire on the border between england and wales, where they are traditionally believed to be descended from brychan brecheiniog, who was lord of brecknock in the time of king arthur of the round table.
The medieval seat of the Williams family ancestors was at Llangibby Castle in Monmouth County. More recently, the family descends from Rhys Goch, the red-haired lord Ystradyw of Caradog Vreichvras.
one of the earliest records of the name was listed as robertus filius willelmi , listed in the domesday book.  other early records include richard williams, listed in the hundreds records of 1279, and john wylyam, listed in the sussex grant records of 1296.
early history of the williams family
This web page shows just a small excerpt from our williams research. another 134 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1846, 1739, 1604, 1683, 1636, 1635, 1666, 1660, 1661, 1641, 1656, 1679, 1623, 1692, 1668, 1696, 16969, , 1688, 1696, 1621, 1712, 1675, 1679 and are included under the subject early history of williams in all of our pdf extended history products and print products whenever possible.
variations of williams spelling
Welsh surnames are relatively few, but have an inordinate number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the oldest is found during the Middle Ages, when Welsh surnames came into use. scribes and church officials recorded names just as they sounded, often resulting in a single person’s name being recorded inconsistently during their lifetime. the transliteration of Welsh names into English also explains many of the spelling variations: Welsh’s unique British Celtic language had many sounds that the English language could not reproduce accurately. it was also common for members of the same surname to change their names slightly, to signify a branch of loyalty within the family, a religious allegiance, or even patriotic affiliations. for all these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. the surname williams has occasionally been spelled williams, quilliams, guiliam, guilliams, and others.
first notables of the williams family (before 1700)
Roger Williams (c. 1604-1683), English-American clergyman, founder of the Providence Plantation Colony in 1636, stood out among the family during the late Middle Ages; Sir Henry Williams, 2nd Baronet (c. 1635-1666), Welsh politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1661; John Williams, Archbishop of York in 1641; Nathaniel Williams (1656-c.1679), Welsh writer from Swansea; sir trevor williams, 1st baronet (c. 1623-1692) of llangibby, monmouthshire… a further 70 words (5 lines of text) are included under the subject first notables of williams in all of our pdf extended history products and print products whenever possible.
williams world rankings
In the United States, the name Williams is the third most popular surname with an estimated 1,738,413 people bearing that name.  However, in Canada, the name Williams ranks as the 17th most popular surname with an estimated 63,729 people bearing that name.  And in Quebec, Canada, the name Williams is the 544th popular surname.  Newfoundland, Canada ranks Williams 27th with 705 people.  France ranks Williams at 6,400 with 1,000 – 1,500 people.  Australia ranks Williams third with 105,855 people.  New Zealand ranks Williams second with 8,814 people.  The UK ranks Williams 23rd with 115,923 people.  South Africa ranks Williams 34th with population 106,885. 
migration of the williams family to ireland
some members of the williams family moved to ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. A further 87 words (6 lines of text) about his life in Ireland are included in all of our pdf extended story products and print products where possible.