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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

Where did the Irish MacAulay family come from? What is the Irish MacAulay family crest and coat of arms? When did the MacAulay family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the MacAulay family history?

Many variations of the name MacAulay have evolved since the time of its initial creation. In Gaelic it appeared as Mac Amhalghaidh or Mac Amhlaoibh. The former name denotes a son of Auley, while the later denotes a son of Auliffe or a son of Humphrey. They claim descent through the Heremon line of Irish kings. [1]


A name was often recorded during the Middle Ages under several different spelling variations during the life of its bearer because literacy was rare there was no real push to clearly define any of the languages found in the British Isles at that time. Variations found of the name MacAulay include MacAulay, MacAwley, MacAuley, MacAullay, MacAulley, MacAwlay, MacCaulay, MacCawley, MacGawley, Magawley, Cauley, Caulay, McCamley and many more.

First found in county Westmeath (Irish: An Iarmhí) in the Irish Midlands, province of Leinster, where at one time the area which is now Ballyloughnoe was once called "McGawley's Country." There is another sept named Mac Amhlaoibh in Gaelic which were a branch of the MacGuires and mainly found in County Fermanagh. This branch gave their name to Clanawley. [2]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacAulay research. Another 221 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1787 and 1841 are included under the topic Early MacAulay History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacAulay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name MacAulay:

MacAulay Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Kenneth MacAulay settled in Philadelphia in 1774
  • Kenneth MacAulay who landed in Philadelphia in 1774

MacAulay Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Commodore Macaulay, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • John Macaulay, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1871


  • Helene Macaulay (b. 1961), American celebrity makeup artist
  • Marc Macaulay (b. 1957), American actor
  • David Macaulay (b. 1946), American author and illustrator
  • Alastair Macaulay, American dance critic for the New York Times
  • Lawrence MacAulay, Canadian federal politician, Minister of Agriculture and agri-food (2015-)
  • John Simcoe Macaulay (1791-1855), English-born, Canadian businessman, politician and benefactor in Upper Canada; he donated the land on which the Church of the Holy Trinity (Toronto)
  • John Macaulay (1792-1857), Canadian businessman and politician in Upper Canada
  • Donald Macaulay QC (1933-2014), Baron Macaulay of Bragar, a British Labour politician and member of the House of Lords
  • James Macaulay (1759-1822), Chief Medical Officer of Upper Canada
  • Michael John Macaulay (b. 1939), former South African cricketer



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  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)

Other References

  1. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  3. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  4. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  6. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  10. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  11. ...

The MacAulay Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The MacAulay Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 4 November 2015 at 15:15.

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