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

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

The ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name Mcfeeley is a nickname for a dark-featured, peaceful person. The Gaelic name of the Clan is Mac Dubhshithe, which translates as black one of peace. One branch of the Clan on the island of North Uist was known as Dubh-sidh, meaning 'black fairy,' due to their whimsical association with the faerie folk.

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In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. Mcfeeley has appeared as MacFie, McFey, MacFee, MacDuffie, MacPhee, MacGuffie, MacCuffie, MacPhie, Maffie, Maffey, MacDubh-shithe (Gaelic) and many more.

First found in on the Isle of Colonsay, where the eponymous ancestor of the Clan may be Dubhshith, also called Dubside, who was lector at the Cathedral on the sacred isle of Iona in 1164. As the name MacFee is one of the oldest of all Dalriadan surnames it appears in records as early as the reign of Alexander II, when Johannes Macdufthi was witness to a charter in Dumfriesshire. In 1296, Thomas Macdoffy swore an oath of allegiance to the king.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mcfeeley research. Another 361 words(26 lines of text) covering the year 1838 is included under the topic Early Mcfeeley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Mcfeeley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 187 words(13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Mcfeeley or a variant listed above include:

Mcfeeley Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • James McFeeley, aged 35, landed in New York, NY in 1833
  • Bernard McFeeley, aged 20, arrived in New York, NY in 1834

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  1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  3. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  8. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  9. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  10. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
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This page was last modified on 27 October 2010 at 13:47.

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