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

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

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

The root of the ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name McElhaney is the Gaelic expression "the son of the servant Storm."

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The translation of Gaelic names in the Middle Ages was not a task undertaken with great care. Records from that era show an enormous number of spelling variations, even in names referring to the same person. Over the years McElhaney has appeared as MacAloney, McAloney, MacAlonie, McAlonie, MacIlhenny, McIlhenny, MacIlhinny, McIlhinny, MacIlhiney, McIlhiney, MacIlhinney, McIlhinney, MacIldowney, McIldowney, MacIldownie, McIldownie, MacGilloney, McGilloney, MacGillonie, McGillonie, MacAlloon, McAlloon, MacAlooni, McAlooni, MacElheaney, McElheaney, MacElhiney, McElhiney, MacElhinney 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 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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McElhaney research. Another 227 words(16 lines of text) covering the year 1428 is included under the topic Early McElhaney History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the McElhaney family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 198 words(14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 McElhaney were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown:

McElhaney Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Rebacca McElhaney, aged 43, who arrived at Youngstown, Ohio, in 1914
  • James McElhaney, aged 43, who settled in America from London, England, in 1920

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  • Douglas L. McElhaney, American diplomat, Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina (2004 to 2007)
  • James W. McElhaney, American lawyer and educator, Joseph C. Hostetler Professor Emeritus of Trial Practice and Advocacy at Case Western Reserve University's School of Law


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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: Aonaibh ri cheile
Motto Translation: Unite.

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  1. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  2. 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.
  3. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  5. 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).
  6. 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).
  7. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  8. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  9. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  11. ...

The McElhaney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McElhaney 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 9 October 2013 at 20:41.

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