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

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

Scotland's coastal mountains and Hebrides islands were known in ancient times as the kingdom of Dalriada. The name McIlrevie evolved there as a nickname for a young man with tanned skin or with tawny hair with darker streaks. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac 'Ille riabhaich, which means son of the brindled lad.

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Spelling in the medieval era was a highly imprecise process. Translation, particularly from Gaelic to English, was little better. For these reasons, early Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. In various documents McIlrevie has been spelled Macilreach, McIlreach, MacIlreath, McIlreath, Macilriach, McIlriach, Macilraith, McIlraith, Macilaraith, McIlaraith, Macilarith, McIlarith, Macilwraith, McIlwraith, Macilwraithe, McIlwraithe, MacIlwrathe, McIlwrathe, MacKilwrath, McKilwrath, MacKilwrathe, McKilwrathe, Macgfillreich, McFillreich, Macileriach, McIleriach, Macillrich, McIllrich, Macilurick, McIlurick, Macilwrick, McIlwrick, MacIlwrith, McIlwrith, MacIlrevie, McIlrevie, MacKilreve, McKilreve, MacKilrea, McKilrea, MacElrath, McElrath, MacElreath, McElreath, McElvrick, MacElvrick, McIllrie, MacIllrie, MacAlwraith, McAlwraith, Revie, McRevie and many more.

First found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from very early times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McIlrevie research. Another 431 words(31 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1376, 1476, 1508 and 1526 are included under the topic Early McIlrevie History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the McIlrevie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 53 words(4 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 McIlrevie were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown: John McIllreavy landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1846; Archibald McIllree landed there in 1832; William McIlrea landed in Philadelphia in 1834.

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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 and by land.

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  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  3. 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.
  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. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  7. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  8. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  9. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  10. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  11. ...

The McIlrevie Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McIlrevie 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 23 March 2012 at 11:02.

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