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

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

The western seacoast of Scotland and the rugged Hebrides islands made up the ancient Kingdom of Dalriada, the ancestral home of the McLafferty family. McLafferty is a name for a prominent ruler. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Fhlaithbheartaich, which means son of the dominion bearing, or son of the ruler. The name is a cognate of the Irish name Flaherty, which is Flaithbheartach in Gaelic. Flaithbheartach, in modern Irish, means generous or hospitable, which may hint at some of the qualities that are described by the name McLafferty.

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Historical recordings of the name McLafferty include many spelling variations. They include They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. MacLaverty, McLaverty, McLafferty, MacLafferty, MacLardy, MacLardie, McLardy, McLardie, MacLeverty, McLeverty, MacLacharty, McLacharty and many more.

First found in Islay, one of the Hebridean islands, and Court of the Lords of the Isles from very ancient times. The MacLavertys, MacLevertys, and variations on that spelling were heralds of the great Lords of the Isles, the first Dalriadan kingdom of Scotland.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McLafferty research. Another 253 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1524 and 1540 are included under the topic Early McLafferty History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the McLafferty family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 130 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first McLaffertys to arrive in North America:

McLafferty Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Michael McLafferty, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848

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  • Fred Warren McLafferty, American chemist known for his work in mass spectrometry


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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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  2. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
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  7. 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.
  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. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  10. 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.
  11. ...

The McLafferty Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McLafferty 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 21 November 2011 at 14:34.

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