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

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

The ancient Dalriadan clans of Scotland spawned the name McDiarmid. It is derived from the personal name Dermid which is derived from the Gaelic Mac Dhiarmaid, which means son of Dermid.


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. McDiarmid has appeared as MacDairmid, MacDermid, MacDiarmid, MacDarmid, MacDearmid, MacDermaid, MacDermont and many more.

First found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records 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 McDiarmid research. Another 234 words(17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McDiarmid History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Many settled along the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. As the American War of Independence broke out, those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these hardy Dalriadan-Scottish settlers began to recover their collective history in the 20th century with the advent of the vibrant culture fostered by highland games and Clan societies in North America. Highland games, clan societies, and other organizations generated much renewed interest in Scottish heritage in the 20th century. The McDiarmid were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown:

McDiarmid Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Mary McDiarmid, who arrived in New York, NY in 1739


  • John McDiarmid (1911-1982), American tennis player
  • C. J. McDiarmid, American owner of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team of the National League from 1927 through 1929
  • Ian McDiarmid (b. 1944), Scottish actor
  • Matthew McDiarmid (1914-1996), Scottish literary scholar, essayist, campaigning academic and poet
  • Hon. John Stewart McDiarmid (1882-1965), Canadian politician from Manitoba
  • Archibald "Archie" McDiarmid (1897-1957), Canadian track and field athlete
  • John Brodie McDiarmid (1913-2002), Canadian academic


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: Non immenor beneficii
Motto Translation: Grateful for kindness.


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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The McDiarmid Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McDiarmid 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 3 August 2014 at 03:19.

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