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


The ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name Mcfeeley is a nickname for a dark-featured, peaceful person. The Gaelic name of the Clan is Mac Dubhshithe, which translates as black one of peace. One branch of the Clan on the island of North Uist was known as Dubh-sidh, meaning 'black fairy,' due to their whimsical association with the faerie folk.

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The surname Mcfeeley was first found in on the Isle of Colonsay, where the eponymous ancestor of the Clan may be Dubhshith, also called Dubside, who was lector at the Cathedral on the sacred isle of Iona in 1164. As the name MacFee is one of the oldest of all Dalriadan surnames it appears in records as early as the reign of Alexander II, when Johannes Macdufthi was witness to a charter in Dumfriesshire. In 1296, Thomas Macdoffy swore an oath of allegiance to the king.

In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. Mcfeeley has appeared as MacFie, McFey, MacFee, MacDuffie, MacPhee, MacGuffie, MacCuffie, MacPhie, Maffie, Maffey, MacDubh-shithe (Gaelic) and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mcfeeley research. Another 361 words (26 lines of text) covering the year 1838 is included under the topic Early Mcfeeley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Mcfeeley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 187 words (13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Mcfeeley or a variant listed above include:

Mcfeeley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • James McFeeley, aged 35, landed in New York, NY in 1833
  • Bernard McFeeley, aged 20, arrived in New York, NY in 1834

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  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  4. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  5. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  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. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  10. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 27 October 2010 at 13:47.

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