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

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

In the mountains of Scotland's west coast and on the Hebrides islands, the ancestors of the McInnes family were born. Their name comes from the personal name Angus. The Gaelic form of the name, Mac Aonguis, translates as son of Angus. Angus refers to the Pictish King Onnust who died in the year 761. While there are no direct links with this King in the history of the Clan or surname, there is a conjectural line, which may be adopted. The lands descended into the Barony of Innes in the County of Elginshire. However, the son or sons of Angus, originally from the Kingdom of Dalriada, were one of the three kindred houses, of the kingdom, the other two houses being the Gabran (the largest) and Lornetach which provided fighting men for the defense of the Kingdom of early Scots. For every twenty homes owned, they were obliged to provide two galleys, and so Angus, having 430 houses, provided a fleet of approximately forty galleys for the defense of the waters of Dalriada, generally those estuaries around the mouth of the Clyde.

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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. McInnes has been spelled MacInnes, MacInnis, MacAngus and many more.

First found in Morven, their earliest known territory. In 1230, the Clan suffered from King Alexander II's campaign against Argyll. The Clan, however, retained their castle Kinlochaline, which stands upon strategic rock in Morvern. A massive castle by early standards, today it is in ruins.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McInnes research. Another 290 words(21 lines of text) covering the year 1358 is included under the topic Early McInnes History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the McInnes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 169 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence, many Scots who remained loyal to England re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first McInness to arrive on North American shores:

McInnes Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Duncan McInnes, who settled in Philadelphia in 1798

McInnes Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • David M McInnes, who landed in Virginia in 1814
  • Angus McInnes, who arrived in North Carolina in 1820
  • Benjamin McInnes, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1847
  • Thomas and Helen McInnes, who settled in Boston in 1849
  • Peter Ray McInnes, who landed in Arkansas in 1890

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  • Gavin Miles McInnes (b. 1970), American writer
  • William C. McInnes, American University President 1964-1973
  • Hugh McInnes VC (1815-1879), Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Derek John McInnes (b. 1971), Scottish footballer
  • Helen McInnes (1907-1985), Scottish suspense novelist
  • Tom McInnes (1870-1937), Scottish footballer
  • Alison McInnes (b. 1957), Scottish Liberal Democrat politician
  • Ian McInnes (b. 1967), former Scottish footballer
  • Thomas "Tom" McInnes (1870-1900), Scottish professional footballer
  • Edward McInnes, British Professor of German Studies

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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: MacAonghais a-rithist
Motto Translation: Again MacInnes

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  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  4. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  5. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  6. 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).
  7. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  8. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The McInnes Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McInnes 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 18 March 2014 at 19:51.

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