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At Hunterston in Ayrshire is carefully preserved on a frail parchment a charter signed by Robert II on 2 May 1374 confirming the grant of land to William Hunter "for his faithful service rendered and to be rendered to us in return for a silver penny payable to the Sovereign at Hunterston on the Feast of Pentecost." To this day the Laird of Hunterston keeps silver pennies, minted in the reigns of R.....

Heraldry Database: Philips


Surname:  Philips
Branch:  Philips
Origins:  British
More Info:  England

Background:  The surname Phillips and its many variations are believed to be patronymic surnames, which mean they were originally derived from the male first name Philip or Phillip. Adding an "s" to the end of Philip or Phillip causes the name to mean "son of Philip" or "son of Phillip." The website Behind the Name states that the first name Philip or Phillip is from the Greek: "Philippos", a compound of "philein", to love, and "hippos", horse. Hence, "lover of horses" or "friend of horses." One of the first recorded spellings of the Phillips surname with a "Ph" is shown to be that of Alicia Philippes, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire", during the reign of King Edward I, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307.

Motto:  Animo et fide, By courage and faith.
Arms:  Ar. a lion, rampant, sa. collared and chained or.
Crest:   A lion, rampant, as in the Arms.

View the Heraldry Dictionary for help.

The Phillips name has a long and extensive history through England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

England - Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, was a famous bearer of the Philip forename. The popularity of the name Philip throughout Greece and Asia Minor and subsequently in western Europe was probably due to him. The name was eventually borne by five Kings of France; this includes Philip the 1st who reigned from 1060 to 1108. The forename Philip migrated to England via France in the 12th century and became popular. Early on it appears as "Filippus" in the Documents relating to the Danelaw, Lincolnshire, dated 1142, and as "Philipus" in the Gilbertine Houses Charters of Lincolnshire, circa 1150. Henry Phelipe, noted in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Norfolk, was one of the earliest recorded bearers of the surname in England with a "Ph" spelling, along with Alicia Philippes and Ellis 'fil' Philip of Huntingdonshire. For patriotic reasons, Philip ceased to be popular in England as a given name after the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth. Nevertheless, its earlier predominance has given it immortality in British directories. Source: Directory of English & Welsh Surnames by Charles Bardsley.

Wales - Because Philip was a popular first name in medieval Europe, it was imported into Wales quickly and became numerous by the late 13th century as Phelip, which was abbreviated as Phe: in early records. By the 15th century, it was found in small numbers in several parts of Wales, but it was mainly concentrated in the southern areas, especially Gwent and Morgannwg, where it reached 3%. Since it averaged 1% for all Wales, it was bound to form a significant modern surname by the patronymic route. The variant spellings of the surname are many, such as Philip, Philipp, Philipps, Philips, Phillip, Phillipp and, of course, Phillips. In Wales, Philipps was the chosen spelling of a well-known family of Picton Castle in Pembrokeshire; however, they did not adopt this spelling consistently until the 18th century, after which it was considered rather grand and sometimes copied by humbler families. Clergy and clerks frequently spelled the forename Phillip in the 18th century, thus leading to the predominance of Phillips in modern families. Philps and Philpin are other variants of Philip, chiefly found in Pembrokeshire, though some may be of southwest English origin. From 1813 to 1837, this surname was found across Wales but was far more common in the south than the north and more common in the west than in the east. Source: The Surnames of Wales, by John & Sheila Rowlands

Scotland - Early examples of the name in Scotland are Rauf Philippe, a Berwickshire landowner, who figures in the Ragman Roll of 1296; Robert Phillope who was sheriff clerk of Dunfries in 1629; and James Philip of Almerieclose, who was author of the Graemiad, an epic poem in Latin on the Claverhouse campaign of 1689. In the south, the name can be connected to Phelps or Phipps; in Scotland, the shortened form is Philp. This version was and is particularly common in the region of Fife. Stephen Philp was bailie of Newburgh in 1473, and Sir James Philp was curate at Abdie around the same time. John Philp was abbot of Lindores from 1522 to 1560. The pleonastic (redundant) form MacPhillips is also found but the commoner version is MacKillop, both of which are associated with Clan McDonnell of Keppoch. Source: Scottish Surnames by David Dorward

Ireland - In modern times, Phillips, an English name, has to some extent taken the place of Philbin, the Irish diminutive of Philip. With the prefix 'Mac', it is found in Cavan and Monaghan and there it is usually a branch of the Scottish clan MacDonnell of Keppoch. MacPhilbin is the name of one of the hibernicized branches of the Connacht Burkes which formed a sept of the Irish type. O'Donovan says there were two branches, one in Mayo and one in Co. Galway. Of those Danish families that immigrated to Ireland, some took Irish surnames and more of them added the prefix 'Mac' to their names, as did many of the Anglo-Norman and English families in earlier times. Some branches of the De Burgo (Burke, de Burgh) family of Connaught took the surname MacWilliam and some of them that of MacPhilip. The De Burgo (Burke, de Burgh) name is one of the most important and most numerous of Hiberno-Norman names. First identified in Connaught, it is now numerous in all the provinces (least in Ulster). Source: The Surnames of Ireland by Edward MacLysaght.

And another account - This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is one of the many surnames generated by the male given name Philip, itself coming from the Greek "Philippos", a compound of "philein", to love, and "hippos", horse; hence, "lover of horses". Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, was a famous bearer of the name, and its popularity throughout Greece and Asia Minor and subsequently in western Europe, was largely due to him. The name was born by five Kings of France including Philip 1st who reigned from 1060 to 1108. It entered England via France in the 12th Century, and appears as "Filippus" in "Documents relating to the Danelaw", Lincolnshire, dated 1142, and as "Philipus in the Gilbertine Houses Charters of Lincolnshire, circa 1150. Henry Phelipe, noted in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Norfolk, was the earliest recorded bearer of the surname. The patronymic form emerges simultaneously (see below), and in the modern idiom appears variously as Phil(l)ips, Phil(l)ipps, Phil(l)ipse, Phelps, Phelips and Phelops. John Phillips, who embarked from London in the ship "Merchant's Hope", bound for Virginia in July 1635, was one of the earliest recorded namebearers to settle in America. A Coat of Arms granted to the Phillips family of London in 1634 is silver, a black lion rampant, collared, chained and ducally crowned gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alicia Philippes, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Name Variations:  Phillips, Phillip, Philip, Filippus, Phillipus, Phelipe, Philippes.

One or more of the following publications has been referenced for this article.
The General Armory; Sir Bernard Burke - 1842.
A Handbook of Mottoes; C.N. Elvin - 1860.
English Surnames; C.M. Matthews - 1966.
A Dictionary of English Surnames; P.H. Reaney - 1958.
One-name-study: https://one-name-study.phillipsdnaproject.com/phillips-origin.html
SurnameDB: https://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Phillips


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