MacInnes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Dalriadan clans of Scotland spawned the name MacInnes. It is derived from the personal name Angus. The Gaelic form of the name, Mac Aonguis, translates as son of Angus. Angus refers to the Pictish King Onnust who died in the year 761.

While there are no direct links with this King in the history of the Clan or surname, there is a conjectural line, which may be adopted. The lands descended into the Barony of Innes in the County of Elginshire. However, the son or sons of Angus, originally from the Kingdom of Dalriada, were one of the three kindred houses, of the kingdom, the other two houses being the Gabran (the largest) and Lornetach which provided fighting men for the defense of the Kingdom of early Scots. For every twenty homes owned, they were obliged to provide two galleys, and so Angus, having 430 houses, provided a fleet of approximately forty galleys for the defense of the waters of Dalriada, generally those estuaries around the mouth of the Clyde.

Early Origins of the MacInnes family

The surname MacInnes was first found in Morven, their earliest known territory. In 1230, the Clan suffered from King Alexander II's campaign against Argyll. The Clan, however, retained their castle Kinlochaline, which stands upon strategic rock in Morvern. A massive castle by early standards, today it is in ruins.

Early History of the MacInnes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacInnes research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the year 1358 is included under the topic Early MacInnes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacInnes 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. MacInnes has appeared as MacInnes, MacInnis, MacAngus and many more.

Early Notables of the MacInnes family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the MacInnes family to Ireland

Some of the MacInnes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States MacInnes migration to the United States +

Many settled along the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. As the American War of Independence broke out, those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these hardy Dalriadan-Scottish settlers began to recover their collective history in the 20th century with the advent of the vibrant culture fostered by highland games and Clan societies in North America. Highland games, clan societies, and other organizations generated much renewed interest in Scottish heritage in the 20th century. The MacInnes were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown:

MacInnes Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Donald MacInnes, who settled in North Carolina in 1773
MacInnes Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Lucy MacInnes, aged 32, who settled in America, in 1912
  • Neil Macinnes, aged 19, who landed in America from Sleat, Scotland, in 1913
  • Margaret MacInnes, aged 5, who settled in Brooklyn, NY, in 1914
  • Kate B. MacInnes, aged 29, who landed in America, in 1915
  • Alexander MacInnes, who landed in America from Glasgow, in 1919
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada MacInnes migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

MacInnes Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Donald and Catherine MacInnes, who arrived at Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Alexander Macinnes, who settled in Nova Scotia in 1822
  • Lachlan John Macinnes, who arrived in Quebec in 1847
MacInnes Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Jessie MacInnes, aged 63, who settled in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, in 1910
  • Margaret L. MacInnes, aged 40, who immigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1910
  • William R. MacInnes, aged 45, who immigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1910
  • Donald Macinnes, aged 24, who immigrated to Olm Springs, Canada, in 1911
  • Grant MacInnes, aged 21, who immigrated to Halifax, Canada, in 1912
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia MacInnes migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

MacInnes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William MacInnes, English Convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Aboukir" on December 24, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [1]
  • Miss Mary Macinnes, (b. 1833), aged 19, English house maid who was convicted in Liverpool, Merseyside, England for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Duchess of Northumberland" on 25th November 1852, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name MacInnes (post 1700) +

  • Gordon A. MacInnes, American Democratic politician
  • Helen Clark MacInnes (1907-1985), Scottish-American author
  • Hamilton MacInnes, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Borough President of Brooklyn, New York, 1921 [3]
  • Gordon A. MacInnes Jr., American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for New Jersey State House of Assembly 23rd District, 1975; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1988, 1996 [3]
  • Blair MacInnes, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 2004 [3]
  • Hamish MacInnes OBE FRSGS (1930-2020), Scottish mountaineer, explorer, mountain search and rescuer,"the father of modern mountain rescue in Scotland"
  • Catr Iona MacInnes, Scottish film-maker
  • Iain MacInnes, Scottish folk musician
  • Maggie MacInnes (b. 1963), Scottish folk singer and clàrsach player
  • Kathleen MacInnes (b. 1969), Scottish singer, television presenter and actress
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The MacInnes 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: MacAonghais a-rithist
Motto Translation: Again MacInnes

  1. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 18) Aboukir voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island. [These convicts appear to have all landed in Van Diemen's Land], Australia in 1851 with 280 passengers. Retrieved from
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 22nd July 2021). Retrieved from
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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