Show ContentsMacGill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Scotland, the first people to use MacGill as a surname were the Strathclyde-Britons. It was a name someone who lived in Galloway. The MacGill surname also comes from the Gaelic patronytmic name Mac an Ghoill, which means "son of the stranger."

Early Origins of the MacGill family

The surname MacGill was first found in Galloway (Gaelic: Gall-ghaidhealaibh), an area of southwestern Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Dumfries and Galloway, that formerly consisted of the counties of Wigtown (West Galloway) and Kirkcudbright (East Galloway), where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the MacGill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacGill research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1231, 1579, 1582, 1595, 1734 and 1890 are included under the topic Early MacGill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacGill Spelling Variations

The origin of rules governing the spelling of names and even words is a very recent innovation. Before that, words and names were spelled according to sound, and, therefore, often appeared under several different spelling variations in a single document. MacGill has been spelled MacGill, Magill, Makgill and others.

Early Notables of the MacGill family

Notable amongst the family at this time was

  • Sir James MacGill of Nether Rankeillour (died 1579), a Scottish politician, Lord Clerk Register to Mary, Queen of Scots; and his son, David MacGill or Makgill (died 1595) also known as David MacGill o...

Ireland Migration of the MacGill family to Ireland

Some of the MacGill family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States MacGill migration to the United States +

The persecution faced in their homeland left many Scots with little to do but sail for the colonies of North America. There they found land, freedom, opportunity, and nations in the making. They fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence, or traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In both cases, they made enormous contributions to the formation of those great nations. Among them:

MacGill Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Macgill, who landed in Maryland in 1730 [1]
  • Patrick MacGill, who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina with Richard, Samuel and William, in 1767
  • Andrew MacGill, who settled in Virginia in 1774
MacGill Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Anthony MacGill, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1811 [1]
  • Robert MacGill, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [1]
  • Daniel, Hugh, James, John, Patrick, Samuel, and William MacGill all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860

Contemporary Notables of the name MacGill (post 1700) +

  • Elizabeth Muriel Gregory "Elsie" MacGill OC (1905-1980), Canadian world's first female aircraft designer, known as the "Queen of the Hurricanes", immortalized on a limited edition dollar coin in 2023
  • Gillis MacGill (1928-2013), American fashion model who opened her own modelling agency, Mannequin, in November 1960
  • James MacGill (1912-1993), American jurist, descendant of James McGill, the rector for Christ Church Guilford, appointed in 1730
  • Peter MacGill, American gallerist and curator, current director of the Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York
  • William MacGill (1922-1997), American educator and psychology professor
  • Terence Mornington David "Terry" MacGill (b. 1945), Australian former cricketer
  • Stuart Charles Glyndwr MacGill (b. 1971), former Australian cricketer, who played 44 Tests and 3 ODIs
  • Helen Emma Gregory MacGill (1864-1947), Canadian women's rights advocate and jurist, one of Canada's first woman judges, judge of the Juvenile Court of Vancouver, British Columbia for 23 years
  • Patrick MacGill (1889-1963), Irish journalist, poet and novelist, known as "The Navvy Poet"
  • Moyna Macgill (1895-1975), born Charlotte Lillian McIldowie, Irish stage and film actress and the mother of actress Angela Lansbury
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The MacGill 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: Sine fine
Motto Translation: Without end.

  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) on Facebook