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Our 2,745 members have registered
2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

The McIlwrick Family history studies date back to 1900 or earlier, when my grandfather found himself without knowledge of his roots as his father had died when he was only 14. He was living in Edinburgh but discovered that his family appeared to originate from the south west of Scotland near Ballantrae. He researched the records at Register House, Edinburgh and visited Girvan in the early years of the 20th century. This work was carried forward by Eric McIlwrick my brother, and finally by myself Gilbert Maurice McIlwrick. I decided that as it was a rare name it should form a One- Name Study taking in all those of the names rather than attempting to follow only our own line further back. Twelve separate trees now exist plus a considerable number of stray records not so far identified as belonging with certainty to any of the fully researched trees.

Variant names

The name lends its self to a variety of spellings. Two main variations are McIlrick, where an arrival in Australia, John McIlreck he used this spelling even though the birth registration was McIlreck. Our present belief is that this name appears as a simply a spelling mistake for McIlwrick as no other reference to this spelling has been found. The second is in US where on entering the country in the 1850'€™s Thomas McIlwrick with his wife Margaret Murdoch gave their name as Milwrick dropping the "€œc"€. His birth confirms his correct spelling should have been McIlwrick. A number of early spellings such as Daniel Meiklewrick a Covenanter of 1685 and David McKilwirk of 1475 a Bailiff of Dumfries have been found in old records and have been assumed to refer to our name.

Name origin

It is just about impossible to determine where or name originated. However it is interesting to find from the 1881 census How our name compares in numbers from the other names using "€œ McIl "€œ at the beginning McIlroy lead with 598 followed by McIlwraith at 423, McIlraith at 112, McIlveen at 75 and our own name at 67. There are however 200 other versions of the spelling in smaller numbers.

There were two spelling their name as McIlrick and no one as Milwrick in 1881, bearing out the possibility of spelling errors rather than groups in their own right.

Name frequency


Distribution of the name

Using the same 1881 census, the distribution of the 67 people using McIlwrick name at that time were as follows:

South West Scotland42
Rest of Scotland 8
Manchester Area10


Over the last seven years I have produced 17 Bulletins, which tell the McIlwrick Family History as information, becomes available. These are distributed mainly in email form to about one hundred members of the wider family of McIlwrick's. Should you wish copies please contact me at the above email address and they will be sent to those with an interest in following the history of the group.