League History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The root of the ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name League is a devotion to Christianity. The Gaelic form of the name is M'A'Lios, which is a shortened form of Mac Giolla Iosa, meaning on of the servant of Jesus. [1] Cleish Castle is a 16th-century tower house in Kinross-shire, Scotland, west of the hamlet of Cleish.

Early Origins of the League family

The surname League was first found in Dumfriesshire where "Mychael M'Cleish or M'CIeisch was tenant of the Brewland cum le stallage' in Dumfriesshire in 1376." [2]

"Thomas M'Cleche was a voter in parish of Qwilton (Coylton), 1514, and Michaile M'Cleys, witness in Carrik, 1514. Duncan M'Cleish was servant to Dwgall M'Dugall in Deweldik, 1588, another Duncan M'Cleiche was admitted burgess of Glasgow, 1589, and a third Duncan M'Cleishe, burgess freeman in 1627." [2]

Early History of the League family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our League research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1613, 1638, 1580, 1665, 1686, 1745, 1806, 1870, 1797, 1803, 1806, 1811, 1872 and 1844 are included under the topic Early League History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

League Spelling Variations

The translation of Gaelic names in the Middle Ages was not a task undertaken with great care. Records from that era show an enormous number of spelling variations, even in names referring to the same person. Over the years League has appeared as MacLeish, MacCleish, MacLise, MacLish, MacGillies, MacGleish, MacGillis, MacLeash and many more.

Early Notables of the League family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Robert M'Gleish, burgess of Irvine, 1686; and John M'Cleish, burgess, 1745. [2] Daniel MacLise (1806-1870), historical painter, was the son of Alexander McLeish, McLish, McClisse, or McLise, a Scottish highlander, once a private soldier in the Elgin fencibles, but at the time of the artist's birth engaged in tanning or shoemaking at Cork, where his regiment had been quartered in 1797. On 24 Dec. in that year Alexander McLish married Rebecca Buchanan, 'daughter of Mrs. Buchanan, Almshouse,' as she is described in the register of the presbyterian (now unitarian) church, Princes Street, Cork, where...
Another 208 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early League Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

League Ranking

In the United States, the name League is the 14,850th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]


United States League migration to the United States +

Many settled along the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. As the American War of Independence broke out, those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these hardy Dalriadan-Scottish settlers began to recover their collective history in the 20th century with the advent of the vibrant culture fostered by highland games and Clan societies in North America. Highland games, clan societies, and other organizations generated much renewed interest in Scottish heritage in the 20th century. The League were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown:

League Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William League, who arrived in Maryland in 1680 [4]
League Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • F. C. League, aged 50, who landed in America, in 1906
  • Mrs. F. C. League, aged 42, who settled in America, in 1906
  • Jane League, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States from Doncaster, England, in 1907
  • John C. League, aged 62, who landed in America, in 1912
  • Thomas J. League, aged 22, who landed in America, in 1914
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name League (post 1700) +

  • Edward League Dawes, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Pennsylvania, 1908 [5]


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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