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

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

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

The Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the McCabe family. Their name comes from the Gaelic form Mac-Aba, which means son of the Abbot.


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. McCabe has been written as MacCabe, McCabe, McAbe, MacAbe and others.

First found in on the Isle of Arran, where they held a family seat from early times. The family name McCabe first appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCabe research. Another 227 words(16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McCabe History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the McCabe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 170 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name McCabe or a variant listed above:

McCabe Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Sarah McCabe, who arrived in America in 1764

McCabe Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Edward McCabe, aged 35, landed in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1805
  • Joseph McCabe, who landed in America in 1811
  • Linus McCabe, aged 27, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Owen McCabe, aged 30, landed in New York in 1812
  • Hugh McCabe, aged 29, arrived in Maryland in 1813

McCabe Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Elizabeth McCabe, who arrived in Arkansas in 1905


  • Edward P. McCabe (1850-1923), American politician
  • Edward A. McCabe (b. 1917), Irish-born American aide to President Dwight Eisenhower
  • Brigadier-General Edward Raynsford Warner McCabe (1876-1960), American Assistant Chief of Staff (G2) US Army (1937-1940)
  • Brian McCabe (b. 1951), Scottish poet
  • Steve McCabe (b. 1955), British Labour Party Member of Parliament
  • Bryan "Todd" McCabe (b. 1975), Canadian NHL player
  • Gerard McCabe (b. 1980), Northern Irish actor
  • Herbert McCabe (1926-2001), Roman Catholic priest
  • John McCabe (b. 1939), English composer and pianist
  • John McCabe (1920-2005), Shakespearean scholar



  • The Descendants of James McCabe and Ann Pettigrew by Allan Everett Marble.
  • McCabe-Wisel and Allied Families by Julia McCabe Hull.

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: Aut Vincere Aut Mori
Motto Translation: Either to conquer or die.


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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  2. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  3. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  4. 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.
  5. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  8. 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.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  10. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  11. ...

The McCabe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McCabe 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 27 July 2014 at 15:12.

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