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

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

McAllister is a very old Scottish name that may even date back to the Dalriadan tribe of Scotland's western coast and Hebrides islands. It comes from the given name Alexander, which in turn was originally derived from the Greek name, which means defender of men. In the late 11th century, Queen Margaret introduced the name, which she had heard in the Hungarian Court where she was raised, into Scotland by naming one of her sons Alexander. The popularity of the name Alexander was ensured by the fact that it was born by three Scottish kings, the first being Margaret's son who succeeded to the throne of Scotland following the death of Malcolm III.

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Spelling variations are a very common occurrence in records of early Scottish names. They result from the repeated and inaccurate translations that many names went through in the course of various English occupations of Scotland. McAllister has been spelled Alexander, Alistair, MacAlexander, Alisandre, Alischoner, Alsinder, Alastair, MacAlexter, Callestar, Aleckander, Alexandri, Alisdair, Alaisder, Alestare, Alistare and many more.

First found in Kintyre, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McAllister research. Another 925 words(66 lines of text) covering the years 1230, 1295, 1475, 1602, 1200, 1605, 1615, 1765, 1846, 1431, 1570, 1640, 1614, 1588, 1655, 1640, 1643, 1619, 1681, 1665, 1681, 1620, 1665, 1660, 1665, 1653, 1686, 1797 and are included under the topic Early McAllister History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 175 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McAllister Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the McAllister 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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Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first McAllisters to arrive in North America:

McAllister Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Angus McAllister, who arrived in New England in 1718
  • Archibald McAllister, who landed in New England in 1738-1739
  • Florance McAllister, who arrived in New York, NY in 1738
  • Richard McAllister, who landed in New England in 1738-1739
  • Margaret McAllister, who landed in New York in 1740


McAllister Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Alexander McAllister, aged 26, landed in New York in 1812
  • Charles McAllister, aged 23, arrived in Delaware in 1813
  • John McAllister, who landed in America in 1814
  • Daniel McAllister, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1818
  • James McAllister, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1826


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  • Deuce McAllister (b. 1978), American NFL football player
  • Samuel McAllister (b. 1869), Irish-born American sailor, Medal of Honor recipient
  • Tim McAllister (b. 1962), American musician
  • Layna McAllister, American cinematographer
  • Colin McAllister (b. 1968), Scottish interior designer, televison presenter
  • Craig McAllister (b. 1980), Scottish footballer
  • Gary McAllister MBE (b. 1964), Scottish professional footballer, manager
  • Kevin McAllister (b. 1962), Scottish footballer
  • Margaret "Rita" McAllister (b. 1946), Scottish musicologist
  • David James "Mac" McAllister (b. 1971), German politician

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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: Per mare, per terras
Motto Translation: By sea, by land.

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  1. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  2. 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).
  3. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  7. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  8. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  9. 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.
  10. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  11. ...

The McAllister Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McAllister 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 28 March 2014 at 13:30.

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