Show ContentsKiller History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The rugged western mountains of Scotland's coastline and the Hebrides islands were home to the ancestors of the Killer family. Killer was originally a name 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. [1]

Early Origins of the Killer family

The surname Killer was 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.

However, the name "is common in Galloway and throughout the Highlands, and was a common personal name in Rreadalbane 200 and more years ago. A money allowance was granted for Andrew, son of John Make Gille Reue, a Scots hostage who died in Carlisle prison in 1300. Thomas M'Gilrewy was a Douglas tenant in the barony of Buittle, 1376, and David McKilwirk (i.e. Mcilwrick) was bailie of Dumfries, 1476. Donald Makgillereoch or Mak-gillereacht appears as witness in 1485 and 1497, and Robert Makgillereach was concerned in the 'spulyie of Kilravock,' 1497. Duncan McGiilereach in Fandownyach had a precept of remission for offences committed by him, 1503, and the obit of Johannes M'Gillerawyth in Glenloquhacy is recorded in 1506. Michae Dow Mcalgerache, an aged Highlander, was convicted of common theft and 'pikry' (petty theft) in Kirkcudbright in 1508 and banished the town." [1]

Early History of the Killer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Killer research. Another 576 words (41 lines of text) covering the years 1526, 1607, 1629, 1641, 1685, 1708, 1614, 1734, 1632, 1538, 1539, 1588, 1594, 1596, 1610, 1634, 1622, 1672, 1672, 1502, 1687, 1681, 1682, 1687 and 1684 are included under the topic Early Killer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Killer Spelling Variations

Spelling variations are a very common occurrence in records of early Scottish names. They result from the repeated and inaccurate translations that many names went through in the course of various English occupations of Scotland. Killer has been spelled 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.

Early Notables of the Killer family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Killer family to Ireland

Some of the Killer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Killer migration to the United States +

The hardy Scots who made the crossing settled all along the east coast of North America and in the great west that was just then opening up. At the time of the American War of Independence, many United Empire Loyalists moved north from the American colonies to Canada. Scottish national heritage became better known in North America in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic events. An examination of immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Killer arrived in North America very early:

Killer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Fredrick Killer, aged 30, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732 [2]
  • Johannes Killer, aged 32, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1748 [2]
  • Martin Killer, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765 [2]
Killer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Heinrich Killer, who landed in North America in 1838 [2]
  • Carl Killer, aged 25, who arrived in Missouri in 1849 [2]

Canada Killer migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Killer Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Killer Daniel U.E. who settled in Marysburgh & Sophiasburgh [Prince Edward County], Ontario c. 1784 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Killer (post 1700) +

  • Kevin Killer, American Democratic Party politician, Elected South Dakota State House of Representatives 27th District 2010 [4]
  • Tobias Killer (b. 1993), German footballer who plays as a midfielder
  • Daniel Pedro Killer (b. 1949), retired Argentine football defender

The Killer 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)
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from on Facebook