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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish McGregor family come from? What is the Scottish McGregor family crest and coat of arms? When did the McGregor family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McGregor family history?

The age-old Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the McGregor family. Their name comes from the given name Gregory. The Gaelic form of the name was Mac Griogain, which translates as son of Gregory.


Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, McGregor has been spelled MacGregor, MacGrigor, MacGrioghair (Gaelic) and others.

First found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, as their origins can be traced back to Griogair, son of the eighth century King Alpin of Scotland, the High King of the Scots and Picts who died in 860 AD. Hence, their famous motto translates from Gaelic as 'Royal is my blood.' They are the principal branch of the Siol Alpine whose representative, King Kenneth the Hardy, was son of MacAlpin, the first King of the Scots.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGregor research. Another 813 words(58 lines of text) covering the years 1587, 1000, 1603, 1603, 1888, 1671, 1734 and are included under the topic Early McGregor History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 51 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGregor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the McGregor family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence, many Scots who remained loyal to England re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first McGregors to arrive on North American shores:

McGregor Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Duncan McGregor settled in South Carolina in 1716
  • Gregor McGregor settled in Virginia along with John in 1716
  • William McGregor, who landed in North Carolina in 1745
  • John McGregor settled in Boston in 1766
  • Duncan McGregor, who landed in New Jersey in 1774

McGregor Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Alexander McGregor, who landed in America in 1800
  • James McGregor, who landed in America in 1810
  • Renold McGregor, aged 36, landed in New York in 1812
  • Malcom McGregor, aged 32, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Neil McGregor, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1813


  • Keli McGregor (b. 1963), American professional football player in the NFL and president of the Colorado Rockies from 2001 to 2010
  • Dion McGregor (1922-1994), American songwriter
  • Don McGregor (b. 1945), American comic book writer
  • Douglas McGregor (1906-1964), American business theorist and management professor at MIT
  • Katie McGregor, American athlete
  • Alistair McGregor (b. 1981), Scottish field hockey goalkeeper
  • Allan McGregor (b. 1982), Scottish footballer
  • Ewan Gordon McGregor (b. 1971), Scottish two-time Golden Globe nominated actor, best known for his role as the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars
  • Gregor McGregor (1848-1914), Scottish-born Australian politician and trade union leader
  • Sir George McGregor, New Zealand Judge



  • McGregor History by Howard W. McGregor.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: 'S Rioghal Mo Dhream
Motto Translation: Royal is my blood.


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  1. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  2. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  3. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  6. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  11. ...

The McGregor Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McGregor Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 25 July 2014 at 19:02.

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