MacFie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The MacFie family finds its ancestral home among the rugged mountains and sea-swept Hebrides islands of Scotland's west coast. In that area, once known as the kingdom of Dalriada, MacFie evolved as a nickname for a dark-featured, peaceful person. The Gaelic name of the Clan is Mac Dubhshithe, which translates as black one of peace. One branch of the Clan on the island of North Uist was known as Dubh-sidh, meaning 'black fairy,' due to their whimsical association with the faerie folk.

Early Origins of the MacFie family

The surname MacFie was first found in on the Isle of Colonsay, where the eponymous ancestor of the Clan may be Dubhshith, also called Dubside, who was lector at the Cathedral on the sacred isle of Iona in 1164. As the name MacFee is one of the oldest of all Dalriadan surnames it appears in records as early as the reign of Alexander II, when Johannes Macdufthi was witness to a charter in Dumfriesshire. In 1296, Thomas Macdoffy swore an oath of allegiance to the king.

Early History of the MacFie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacFie research. Another 226 words (16 lines of text) covering the year 1838 is included under the topic Early MacFie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacFie Spelling Variations

In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. MacFie has appeared as MacFie, McFey, MacFee, MacDuffie, MacPhee, MacGuffie, MacCuffie, MacPhie, Maffie, Maffey, MacDubh-shithe (Gaelic) and many more.

Early Notables of the MacFie family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the MacFie family to Ireland

Some of the MacFie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States MacFie migration to the United States +

Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name MacFie or a variant listed above:

MacFie Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Dugald Macfie, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1812 [1]
  • Agnes MacFie, aged 4, who settled in America from Scotland, in 1892
  • Janet MacFie, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States from Scotland, in 1892
  • Allen Macfie, aged 9, who immigrated to the United States, in 1893
MacFie Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Andrew L. Macfie, aged 43, who settled in America from Liverpool, in 1903
  • James L. Macfie, aged 22, who landed in America from Bute, Scotland, in 1907
  • Claude W Macfie, aged 18, who landed in America from Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1911
  • Elizabeth Macfie, aged 50, who immigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1912
  • Charles Andrew Macfie, aged 16, who landed in America from London, England, in 1912
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada MacFie migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

MacFie Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Archibald C. Macfie, aged 28, who settled in Aberni, Canada, in 1911

Contemporary Notables of the name MacFie (post 1700) +

  • Alec Lawrence MacFie (1898-1980), Scottish Economist, Professor of Political Economy, University of Glasgow
  • John Mandeville MacFie (1891-1985), Scottish-born, British Army Major General
  • Robert Andrew Macfie (1811-1893), Scottish businessman and politician, member of the British Parliament


The MacFie 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: Pro Rege
Motto Translation: For the King.


  1. ^ 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)


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