Origin of the Name Maxwell
family history was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. The great border castle of Caerlaverock was long the seat of the Maxwell Chiefs in Scotland . These ancient families date back as far as 1241 when Sir John Maxwell was Chamberlain of Scotland .
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland , especially during the seventeenth century. It was the 'Plantations of Ireland ' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that marked the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland . While the influx of settlers in the wake of the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
Maxwell is also an occasional variant of the names Mescel and Miskell which are both derived from the native Gaelic O'Mesicill sept that was located in Counties Clare and Galway .
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. Irish septs and clans that are related often belong to even larger groups, sometimes called tribes.
O'Mescall is another variant.
The Maxwell coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Maxwell descendants.