MacBreartay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name MacBreartay comes from the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada, where it was used to indicate someone who worked as a noted mariner or a sea captain. [1]

Early Origins of the MacBreartay family

The surname MacBreartay was first found in the islands of Arran and Bute. Early records for the family are scarce. "In 1506 Gilcrist Makwrerdy held the lands of Bransar in Bute, and Finlay Makvreirdy had sasine of Brothok there in the same year. Donald Makwrarty of Birgadulknok appears in 1534; several M'Urartys appear as witnesses in Bute in 1540; and Sir James M'Wartye, a Pope's knight, appears as vicar of Kingarth in Bute, 1554 and 1556. James Makilveritie, chaplain in the chapel of S. Michael the Archangel in Rothesay Castle, between 1590-1600, appears in the Exchequer Rolls as McQuhirertie, McQuhirirtie, McQuheritie (these three spellings in 1596), McIliquharartie (1598), and Makquhirrirtie (1600). " [2]

The MacMurtrie variant is "current in Ayrshire and Lanarkshire, Gilbert Makmurtye was a witness in Edinburgh, 1508." [2]

Early History of the MacBreartay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacBreartay research. Another 290 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1622, 1662, 1706, 1663, 1790, 1887, 1929, 1662, 1506, 1547, 1626, 1541, 1600, 1562, 1623, 1520, 1566, 1517, 1517, 1568, 1539, 1564, 1561, 1506, 1566, 1642, 1623, 1555 and are included under the topic Early MacBreartay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacBreartay Spelling Variations

Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. In various documents MacBreartay has been spelled MacCurdy, MacKirdy, MacKirdie, MacCurdie, MacQuartie, MacBararthy, MacBerarthy, MacWerarthy, MacMurtrie, MacMutrie and many more.

Early Notables of the MacBreartay family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the MacBreartay family to Ireland

Some of the MacBreartay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 94 words (7 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 MacBreartay family

Descendents of Dalriadan-Scottish families still populate many communities across North America. They are particularly common in Canada, since many went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the American War of Independence. Much later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the highland games and Clan societies that now dot North America sprang up, allowing many Scots to recover their lost national heritage. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name MacBreartay, or a variant listed above: James McCurdy, and his wife Elizabeth Ayers, who were recorded as Scotch-Irish living in New Hampshire in 1730; Archibald Mccurdy, who arrived in New England in 1737 with his five children, John McCurdy, who arrived in New England in 1745.



The MacBreartay 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: Dieu et mon pays
Motto Translation: God and my country.


  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)


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