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

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

In the mountains of Scotland's west coast and on the Hebrides islands, the ancestors of the Malcolm family were born. Their name comes from the Gaelic personal name "MacChaluim" which means "son of Calum," oe "son of St. Colomba." The names MacCallum and Malcolm are used interchangeably as Calum is the often Anglicized as Malcolm.


Spelling variations of this family name include: Malcolmson, Malcollm, Malcom, Malcomb, Malcome, Malcomson, Malcum, MacCallam, MacCallum and many more.

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, where they quickly attained the status of Clan. Their ancient Clan seat was at Poltalloch near Loch Craignish. The related Clan Calum is said to have been from Ariskeodnish. One of the earliest records of the name was Reginald MacCallum of Corbarron who was made the hereditary constable of Craignish Castle in 1414. Sir Duncan Campbell granted him lands in Craignish and on Loch Avich. This arrangement demonstrates the strong alliance between the MacCallums and the Campbells of Argyll; an arrangement which made them deadly foes of the MacDonalds. In 1647, Sir Alexander MacDonald killed Zacharie MacCallum, a supporter of the Campbell chief, in battle at Ederline. In the 17th century, another Zachary Maccallum was bequeathed the Cobarron lands by the last of that branch.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Malcolm research. Another 539 words(38 lines of text) covering the years 1562, 1779, 1647, 1665, 1850 and 1665 are included under the topic Early Malcolm History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 63 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Malcolm Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Malcolm family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 241 words(17 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Malcolm Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • John Malcolm, who came to Jamaica in 1679
  • Andrew Malcolm, who was on record in Boston in 1694
  • Duncan Malcolm, who also came to Boston in 1694

Malcolm Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • James Malcolm, who landed in Virginia in 1716
  • Alexander Malcolm, who arrived in Annapolis, Maryland in 1739 aboard the Chesapeake
  • Alexander Malcolm, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1740
  • William Malcolm, who was on record in New York in 1763
  • William Malcolm, who landed in New York in 1770

Malcolm Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Malcolm, who landed in Virginia in 1800
  • J Malcolm, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Armstrong Malcolm, who landed in New York in 1827
  • Henry Malcolm, aged 18, arrived in New York in 1854
  • Mary Malcolm, aged 20, arrived in New York in 1854


  • Benjamin Joseph Malcolm (1919-2001), American corrections administrator
  • Janet Malcolm (b. 1934), American writer and journalist
  • Norman Malcolm (1911-1990), American philosopher
  • Christopher Malcolm (1946-2014), Scottish television and film actor, director and producer, known for his role as Brad Majors in the original stage production of The Rocky Horror Show and for his roles in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Reds, Ragtime, Labyrinth and Highlander
  • Wing Commander Hugh Gordon Malcolm (1917-1942), British aviator awarded the Victoria Cross during WWII
  • David Malcolm (b. 1938), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia 1988-2006
  • Derek Malcolm (b. 1932), British film critic and historian
  • Devon Malcolm (b. 1963), English cricketer
  • Noel Malcolm (b. 1956), English writer, historian and journalist
  • Ryan Malcolm (b. 1979), Canadian singer


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: In ardua petit
Motto Translation: He has attempted difficult things.


Malcolm Clan Badge
Malcolm Clan Badge

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A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...


Septs of the Distinguished Name Malcolm
Malcolm, Malcolmson, Malcom, Malcomb, Malcombe, Malcone, Malcoom, Malcoomb, Malcoombe, Malcown, Malcume and more.


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  1. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  2. 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.
  3. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  4. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  6. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  7. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Malcolm Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Malcolm 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 10 October 2014 at 12:16.

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