Clevertay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Dalriadan kingdom consisted of the Hebrides islands, and the rugged mountains of Scotland west coast. The name Clevertay began in this region; it was a nickname 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 Clevertay.

Early Origins of the Clevertay family

The surname Clevertay was 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.

The MacLiver variant is an interesting one. "The old pronunciation was Macleever, [while] the modern is Macliver. A commission was granted Campbell of Auchinbrek and others in 1619 to apprehend Ewne M' Finla VcGillevir in Kilchoane, and John McEwne VcIlliver, who had been denounced rebels by Campbell of Barbreck. John Roy M'Gilliver in Islay, 1686. Sometimes confused with Macclure, q. v. M'Ileur (in Islay) 1733." [1]

Early History of the Clevertay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clevertay research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1524 and 1540 are included under the topic Early Clevertay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Clevertay Spelling Variations

Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Clevertay has been spelled MacLaverty, McLaverty, McLafferty, MacLafferty, MacLardy, MacLardie, McLardy, McLardie, MacLeverty, McLeverty, MacLacharty, McLacharty and many more.

Early Notables of the Clevertay family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Clevertay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Clevertay family to Ireland

Some of the Clevertay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Clevertay family

These settlers arrived in North America at a time when the east was burgeoning with prosperous colonies and the expanses of the west were just being opened up. The American War of Independence was also imminent. Some Scots stayed to fight for a new country, while others who remained loyal went north as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of them went on to rediscover their heritage in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic Scottish events. The Clevertay were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: John McClarty, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1856; Pat, Neil, John and Cornelius McClafferty settled in Philadelphia between 1834 and 1860.



The Clevertay Motto +

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.


  1. ^ 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)


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