MacGillivray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Picts were the ancient Scottish tribe where the ancestors of the MacGillivray family lived. The name MacGillivray comes from a personal name meaning servant of judgement. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Gillebhrath.

Early Origins of the MacGillivray family

The surname MacGillivray was first found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, but this family seat was later moved to Iona with the advent of St. Columba. From this original descendancy came Giolla Brighid, known also as Gillibride, or Gillivray. Gillivray's son, Somerled, the 8th and greatest Thane of Argyll, Lord of Kintyre, and founder of the 'Kingdom of the Isles' was instrumental in driving out the invading Norse (Vikings) from his Kingdom, commencing in 1140 AD. However, Somerled, still gave allegiance to the King of Vikings which continued until 1222, long after Somerled's death in 1164 AD. At this time, Alexander II of Scotland routed many of the Clans 'of the Isles', leaving them eastern Scotland in an area from Glasgow north to Inverness to the East Coast. The MacGillivrays were moved northwards to Lochabe. They became closely associated with their neighbors, the McInnises, the McMasters, and the MacEacherns. They also joined the great Pictish confederacy of Clans known as the Clan Chattan, an association of some twenty six Clans, during the time of Ferquhard, 5th Chief of the MacKintosh, and Chief of the Clan Chattan.

Early History of the MacGillivray family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacGillivray research. Another 327 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1467, 1535, 1542, 1550, 1688, 15 a, 1745 and 1822 are included under the topic Early MacGillivray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacGillivray Spelling Variations

Before the first dictionaries appeared in the last few hundred years, scribes spelled according to sound. spelling variations are common among Scottish names. MacGillivray has been spelled MacGillivray, MacGillivery, MacGillivary, MacGillivry, MacIlvray, MacIlvrae, MacIlwrach, MacIlwray, MacGivery, MacGivray, McGillivrae and many more.

Early Notables of the MacGillivray family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was MacGillivray of Dunmaglass. The Hon. William McGillivray, son of Donald McGillivray of Dalscoilte, near Dunmaglass, was the head of the NorthWest Company fur trading...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacGillivray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States MacGillivray migration to the United States +

In those unstable times, many had no choice but to leave their beloved homelands. Sickness and poverty hounded travelers to North America, but those who made it were welcomed with land and opportunity. These settlers gave the young nations of Canada and the United States a strong backbone as they stood up for their beliefs as United Empire Loyalists and in the American War of Independence. In this century, the ancestors of these brave Scots have begun to recover their illustrious heritage through Clan societies and other heritage organizations. Early passenger and immigration lists reveal many Scottish settlers bearing the name MacGillivray:

MacGillivray Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Alexander, Donald, Fargus, James, John, Loughlin, Owen, and William MacGillivray, who all, who arrived in South Carolina in 1716
MacGillivray Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • George B Macgillivray, who arrived in California in 1901 [1]

Canada MacGillivray migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

MacGillivray Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Macgillivray, who was on record in Quebec in 1780
  • Mr. Archibald MacGillivray U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [2]
  • Ewen MacGillivray, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1790

Contemporary Notables of the name MacGillivray (post 1700) +

  • John MacGillivray, American special effects specialist, known for American Psycho (2000), Max Payne (2008) and The Boondock Saints (1999)
  • Rob MacGillivray, American director, known for his work on Hollyoaks (1995) and Genie in the House (2007-2009)
  • Greg MacGillivray (b. 1945), American two-time Academy Award nominated film director and cinematographer, known for The Living Sea (1995), Everest (1998) and Dolphins (2000)
  • Patricia MacGillivray, American politician, Tisch Independent Citizens Candidate for Michigan State Senate 7th District, 1982 [3]
  • John MacGillivray (1821-1867), Scottish-born, Australian naturalist, active between 1842 and 1867, son of William MacGillivray
  • William MacGillivray (1796-1852), Scottish naturalist and ornithologist, eponym of MacGillivray's warbler
  • Dr. James Pittendrigh MacGillivray (1856-1938), Scottish prolific sculptor, known for his many works throughout Scotland, particularly in Glasgow, perhaps best known for his statues of Robert Burns in Irvine, Lord Byron in Aberdeen, the 3rd Marquess of Bute in Cardiff, John Knox in Edinburgh's St Giles Cathedral, and William Ewart Gladstone in Coates Crescent Gardens, Edinburgh
  • Ian MacGillivray (b. 1920), Scottish professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Aberdeen (1965-1984)
  • William MacGillivray, Australian politician, Member of the South Australian House of Assembly seat of Chaffey from 1938 to 1956
  • Alan MacGillivray, Newfoundland producer and production manager, known for The Rick Mercer Report (2004), Life with Billy (1993) and Paint Cans (1994)
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  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)
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook