The Irish surname McIlwee originally appeared in Gaelic as "Mac Fhiodhbhuidhe," which is probably derived from the word "fiodhbhadhach," referring to "a woodman."
from ancient times.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McIlwee research.Another 107 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1100 and 1563 are included under the topic Early McIlwee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations
of the name McIlwee dating from that time include McEvoy, Evoy, McGilloway, McVeagh, McVeigh, McAvoy, McElwee, McElwy and many more.
During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families
made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine
during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the McIlwee family in North America: James McKelvey, who arrived in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1767; David McKelvey, who was naturalized in South Carolina in 1805; Hugh McKelvey, who was naturalized in Allegheny Co., PA in 1807.