The age-old Pictish-Scottish family name MacGilvray is derived from a personal name
meaning servant of judgement.
The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Gillebhrath.
Early Origins of the MacGilvray family
The surname MacGilvray 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
Early History of the MacGilvray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacGilvray research.Another 653 words (47 lines of text) covering the years 1467, 1535, 1542, 1550, 1688, 15 a, 1745 and 1822 are included under the topic Early MacGilvray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacGilvray Spelling Variations
In medieval Scotland, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations
were the result. Over the years, the name MacGilvray has been spelled MacGillivray, MacGillivery, MacGillivary, MacGillivry, MacIlvray, MacIlvrae, MacIlwrach, MacIlwray, MacGivery, MacGivray, McGillivrae and many more.
Early Notables of the MacGilvray 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 MacGilvray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacGilvray family to the New World and Oceana
In such difficult times, Ireland
, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence
. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through Clan
societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of MacGilvray:
MacGilvray Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Thomas Clousten R. MacGilvray, aged 31, who emigrated to the United States from Oban, Scotland, in 1919
- John MacGilvray, aged 37, who emigrated to the United States, in 1924
- Matthew MacGilvray, aged 31, who settled in America, in 1924
Contemporary Notables of the name MacGilvray (post 1700)
- Ronald "Ronnie" MacGilvray (b. 1930), retired American professional NBA basketball player