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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

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

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Agnew, Gneive, MacGneive, Aggnew, O'Gnieves, O'Gneeves, Agnewe, Agnev and many more.

First found in the Barony of Agneaux, within Normandy, but has been established in the district of Galloway (Gaelic: Gall-ghaidhealaibh), an area of southwestern Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Dumfries and Galloway, that formerly consisted of the counties of Wigtown (West Galloway) and Kirkcudbright (East Galloway) in south western Scotland, from very ancient times. Some have mistakenly considered the Agnews to be of Irish origin, as an Anglicized form of the Irish sept O'Gnivews, but the name is actually of territorial origin, deriving from Agneaux. They are descended from John McDonnell, brother of Angus Oge, Lord of the Isles, his grandson being John MacGneive, who was called in English, Agnew.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Agnew research. Another 179 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1628, 1633, 1864, 1893, 1578, 1661, 1628, 1633, 1643, 1647, 1671, 1644, 1647, 1665, 1667, 1669, 1702, 1685, 1689, 1702, 1660, 1735, 1687, 1771, and 1689 are included under the topic Early Agnew History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 203 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Agnew Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Agnew family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 135 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Agnew Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Andrew Agnew, who landed in Maryland in 1674
  • Aud Agnew, who landed in Maryland in 1674
  • Ninian Agnew, who landed in Maine in 1676

Agnew Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Andrew Agnew, who settled in New England in 1718
  • Alexander Agnew, who settled in New York in 1774
  • Agnes Agnew, aged 19, landed in New York in 1774
  • Alexander Agnew, aged 40, arrived in New York, NY in 1775
  • Alexander Agnew, who was on record in New Castle, Delaware in 1789

Agnew Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Deckey Agnew, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815
  • Thomas Agnew, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1820
  • John Agnew, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • Robert Agnew, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • William Agnew, who landed in Mississippi in 1854


Agnew Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • James Agnew, who arrived in Arkansas in 1902

Agnew Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Reverend John Agnew U.E. born in Parish Suffolk, Vermont, USA, United Empire Loyalist who settled near Fredericton, New Brunswick c. 1783 part of the Queen's Rangers Regiment
  • Captain Stair Agnew U.E. born in Virginia, USA, United Empire Loyalist who settled in Fredericton, New Brunswick c. 1783 part of the Queen's Rangers Regiment

Agnew Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • J. B. Agnew arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Mary" in 1838

Agnew Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Agnew, Scottish convict from Glasgow, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Elizabeth Agnew arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Stebonheath" in 1849

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  • David Hayes Agnew (1818-1892), American surgeon in attendance as operating surgeon when President Garfield was fatally wounded by the bullet of an assassin in 1881
  • Robert Agnew (1899-1983), American film actor
  • Charlie Agnew (1901-1978), American Jazz musician and band-leader
  • Harold Melvin Agnew (1921-2013), American physicist and politician, member of New Mexico Senate (1955-1961), and director of Los Alamos National Laboratory 1970-1979
  • Paul Agnew (b. 1964), Scottish Baroque singer
  • Sir Peter Garnett Agnew (1900-1990), 1st Baronet Agnew of Clendry, co Wigtown, English Commander in the Royal Navy, and politician
  • Sir James Wilson Agnew (1815-1901), Irish born, Premier of Tasmania
  • Roy Ewing Agnew (1893-1944), Australian composer and pianist
  • Pinky Agnew (b. 1955), New Zealand actor, author, and social commentator
  • ChloŽ Agnew (b. 1989), Irish singer, youngest member of the Celtic music group Celtic Woman

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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: Consilio non impetu
Motto Translation: By wisdom not by rashness.

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Agnew Clan Badge
Agnew Clan Badge

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A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...

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Septs of the Distinguished Name Agnew
Aggnew, Agner, Agnev, Agnew, Agnewe, Angnew, D'Agneaux, Gneive, Kneive, MacGneive, MacGnieve, MacKneive, McGneive, McGnieve, McKneive, O'Gneeves, O'Gneive, O'Gnieves and more.

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  1. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  4. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  9. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Agnew Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Agnew 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 5 June 2015 at 15:18.

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