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

Where did the Scottish Mcelrath family come from? When did the Mcelrath family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Mcelrath family history?

Mcelrath is an ancient Dalriadan-Scottish nickname for a young man with tanned skin or with tawny hair with darker streaks. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac 'Ille riabhaich, which means son of the brindled lad.

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Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. Mcelrath has been written as Macilreach, McIlreach, MacIlreath, McIlreath, Macilriach, McIlriach, Macilraith, McIlraith, Macilaraith, McIlaraith, Macilarith, McIlarith, Macilwraith, McIlwraith, Macilwraithe, McIlwraithe, MacIlwrathe, McIlwrathe, MacKilwrath, McKilwrath, MacKilwrathe, McKilwrathe, Macgfillreich, McFillreich, Macileriach, McIleriach, Macillrich, McIllrich, Macilurick, McIlurick, Macilwrick, McIlwrick, MacIlwrith, McIlwrith, MacIlrevie, McIlrevie, MacKilreve, McKilreve, MacKilrea, McKilrea, MacElrath, McElrath, MacElreath, McElreath, McElvrick, MacElvrick, McIllrie, MacIllrie, MacAlwraith, McAlwraith, Revie, McRevie and many more.

First found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from very early times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mcelrath research. Another 431 words(31 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1376, 1476, 1508 and 1526 are included under the topic Early Mcelrath History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Mcelrath Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Mcelrath family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 53 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Mcelrath or a variant listed above:

Mcelrath Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • John McElrath, who arrived in America in 1817
  • William McElrath, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1817
  • A McElrath, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

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  • Dr. Eileen McElrath Ph.D., American Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Studies at Texas Woman's University
  • Susan McElrath, American Adjunct Professorial Lecturer in the Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences, American University, Washington


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  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  3. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  4. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  5. 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).
  6. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  7. 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.
  8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 19 July 2014 at 06:52.

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