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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Where did the Scottish Mcelrath family come from? When did the Mcelrath family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Mcelrath family history?

Mcelrath is an ancient Dalriadan-Scottish 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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Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. Mcelrath has been written as 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 Mcelrath research. Another 431 words (31 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1376, 1476, 1508 and 1526 are included under the topic Early Mcelrath History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Mcelrath 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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Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Mcelrath or a variant listed above:

Mcelrath Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John McElrath, who arrived in America in 1817
  • William McElrath, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1817
  • A McElrath, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

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  • Susan McElrath, American Adjunct Professorial Lecturer in the Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences, American University, Washington
  • Dr. Eileen McElrath Ph.D., American Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Studies at Texas Woman's University


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  1. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  2. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  10. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
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This page was last modified on 16 January 2016 at 21:41.

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