MacHem History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The west coast of Scotland and the rocky Hebrides islands are the ancient home of the MacHem family. The root of their name is the given name Ian or John. John is the most common personal name in the Highlands. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Iain.
Early Origins of the MacHem family
The surname MacHem 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, 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 MacHem family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacHem research. Another 166 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1340, 1292, 1808, 1875, 1618, 1717, 1777, 1667 and are included under the topic Early MacHem History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacHem Spelling Variations
Spelling and translation were not standardized practices until the last few centuries. Spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. MacHem has been spelled MacIan, MacAne, MacKane, MacKean, MacKain and others.
Early Notables of the MacHem family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Archibald McKain (1717-1777), Scottish Shoemaker and Burgess of Elgin, Morayshire, who became the 15th Chief of MacIain of Ardnamurchan. Also of note was Thomas M'kean of Delaware, one of the signers of the American Declaration of Independence.
John Canne (d. 1667?)...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacHem Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacHem family to Ireland
Some of the MacHem family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
| MacHem migration to the United States ||+|
Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first MacHems to arrive in North America:
MacHem Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Jo Machem, aged 18, who landed in Virginia in 1635 aboard the ship "Paul" 
- 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)