This name, with variant spellings Macilriach, Macilraith, Macgillreich, Macilwrick, Macillrick, Macilurick etc., is an Anglicized form of the old Scottish Gaelic patronymic "Mac Gille Riabhaich". The Gaelic prefix "mac" means "son of", plus "gille", a lad or servant, and "riabhach", brindled; hence, "son of the brindled lad". The surname widespread in Galloway and throughout the highlands, first appears on record at the beginning of the 14th Century, (see below). Further early recordings include Thomas M'Gilrewy, a Douglas tenant in the barony of Buittle, (1376); Donald Makgillereoch, witness in Cawdor, (1485), and Duncan McGillereach of Fandownyach, (1503).Nele M'Ilwratih, a follower of the earl of Cassilis, was respited for murder in 1526 - "The Register of the Privy Seal of Scotland". In Kilmuir, Skye, there is a place called Baile Mhic Illeriabhaich, (the township of the Macgilleriabhachs). These lands belonged to the Macilwraiths, and a bond of manrent was signed between them and the Lord of the Isles i.e. MacDonald, in Castle Camus, Sleat, Skye, on August 13th 1632. Mary McIlwrick, daughter of Gilbert, was christened in Edinburgh on July 11th 1867, and William, son of John and Susan McIlwrick was christened on June 11th 1869 at Edinburgh. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Andrew, son of John Make Gille Reue, which was dated 1300 - deceased, Carlisle prison, during the reign of Interregnum in Scotland, 1296 - 1306. 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.
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