House of Wilson of Kilwinnet
HEAD OF FAMILY:
The Much Honoured John George Wilson of Kilwinnet, the Laird of Kilwinnet
Robert Fergus Wilson of Kilwinnet, younger
Kilwinnet, South Ayrshire
The surname Wilson means ‘son of Will’, Will being a shortened form of the personal name William, derived from the Germanic word ‘Willahelm’ later Normanised.
William, along with other personal names of Continental origin, was introduced into Britain around the 11th century by William the Conqueror (c.1027/28-1087) and his ruling Norman families. The name developed in popularity when William the Conqueror became William I, first Norman king of England.
In Scotland, William as a personal name, had arrived there by the reign of William the Lion (1165-1214) when many of his abbots, a bishops, a chamberlain, a chancellor and a sheriff, were all recorded with the personal name William. The name soon found its way into the Scottish Highlands where it became 'Uilleam' for William in the Gaelic language, and 'MacUilleam' for son of William. Some Highland MacUilleams may have Anglicized their surname to Wilson on later settling in the Scottish Lowlands. Recent DNA research may indicate a possible Highland ancestry for the House of Wilson of Kilwinnet.
With the arrival of surnames in Scotland (not all of them were hereditary in the beginning), a John Thomson may have taken his father’s Christian name Thomas for his surname, indicating that he is John, son of Thomas. This form of naming custom is called patronymic - a surname derived from the father’s personal name with ‘son’ added on the end. In fact, you could have various men from one extended family ending up with different fixed surnames in later generations, all stemming from various patronymic names used earlier within the family. The result of family individuals adopting fixed surnames at different periods may have occurred over two or three generations. One particular family which may have been using the personal names: William, Robert, John and Thomas, could have ended up with any of the following names as patronymic surnames: Wilson, Robertson, Johnston, and Thomson all becoming their fixed surnames. The result being that all of their blood descendants bearing different fixed surnames, while all having a common genetic ancestor. And of course, the same surnames would have evolved independently in other unrelated Scottish families, producing similar surnames which today confuse researchers of family history. The basic rule for those researching their own particular Wilson family is to be aware that the various Wilson families do not share one common ancestor. They are essentially a NAME, consisting of an unknown number of unrelated Wilson families. In Scotland, some like to call all the Wilson name a clan for fun, but really the proper form is a name. For more information visit: www.clanwilsonscotland.com for additional Wilson history.
Recent developments in DNA testing for use by genealogists continues to reveal that there are a very large number of Wilson families in the World today. They appear to have had unrelated founding genetic ancestors in the United Kingdom, or, even the World as a whole. The Wilson DNA Project can be viewed at: http://www.m222.net/wilsondna.htm , and http://www.familytreedna.com/public/Wilson/ .
Some Wilson families do have an association in some way to a small number of Scottish clans, but be warned, some maybe nothing more than Victorian invention to sell tartan! It is advised that Wilson individuals researching their particular family history should endeavor to establish, as far as possible, a documented historic connection to a particular clan or family and its feudal territory. You can only follow one clan chief.
The House of Wilson of Kilwinnet descends from a Robert Wilson who was living in Ayrshire around the mid-1700s, and who may have had earlier family origins in the Renfrewshire town of Paisley. And prior to that, the Kilwinnet Family were possibly resident for many generations in the old Celtic lands of the earls of Lennox. In 1460, a John Wilson was one of a number of tenants in Duntiglennan, Old Kilpatrick Parish. Adjoining Duntiglennan is the lands of Chocno where a family of Wilsons later emerge from the early parish records, around the late 17th century. Family members later appear in Paisley involved in the weaving-trade and quite possibly are the ancestral line for the House of Wilson of Kilwinnet.
The Wilson family may have settled in Old Kilpatrick from the Scottish Highlands, possibly Argyll or Perthshire, as indicated by recent DNA studies. In regard to the family's deeper origins, one theory is that it shares an ancient genetic ancestry with a small number of other families today, bearing various Scottish surnames, and who all possibly share a common genetic ancestor of Dalriadac or Pictish origin.
This website covers various topics and it is hoped that there will be something of interest to everyone visiting the Wilson family’s ‘cyber seat’. Contact is welcome at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In July 2009, John Wilson of Kilwinnet, and other Wilsons, attended the last international gathering of Scotland's clans and families in Edinburgh, where they represented our Name.
COME TO THE NEXT WILSON GATHERING in Scotland in 2014!
Plans are underway to organize the next Homecoming in 2014 for Scotland’s clans and families. The venue is being planned for the Stirling area. This will be a fitting venue as that year we in Scotland also celebrate our victory over the English army 700 years ago on the field of Bannockburn. Go to www.clanwilsonscotland.com and follow the links there to keep up-to-date with plans as they unfold.
Let us relive this historic event when our Wilson ancestors, and close kin, fought for freedom with the brave men of the Lennox!
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!
Interested Wilsons are asked to help organize our attendance at the next Homecoming. Those willing to help with the Clan Wilson tent, please contact us at kilwinnet @hotmail.co.uk.
We also require a Clan Wilson piper. You don’t need to be a Wilson by name but you do need your own bagpipes! This is essentially an honorary position and some help for expenses will be available.
John Wilson of Kilwinnet at Aboyne Games in 2008. Kilwinnet has represented the Wilson's at the various International Gatherings since the 1970s.
Wilson of Kilwinnet livery badge for family members will be available for purchase.