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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Where did the Scottish MacIsaac family come from? What is the Scottish MacIsaac family crest and coat of arms? When did the MacIsaac family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the MacIsaac family history?

The ancient Dalriadan clans of Scotland spawned the name MacIsaac. It is derived from the personal name Isaac. The Gaelic forms of the name are Mac Isaac or Mac Iosaig, both of which mean son of Isaac.


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. MacIsaac has appeared as MacIsaac, MacIsaack and others.

First found in Inverness, 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacIsaac research. Another 241 words (17 lines of text) covering the year 1685 is included under the topic Early MacIsaac History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early MacIsaac Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


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 MacIsaac were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown:

MacIsaac Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Malcolm MacIsaac settled in New York in 1775

MacIsaac Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • John MacIsaac, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Dougal MacIsaac settled in Sandy Point, Newfoundland in 1870
  • Alexander MacIsaac of Cod Rivers settled in Sandy Point, Newfoundland in 1871

MacIsaac Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Richard Macisaac, aged 32, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Clifford" in 1842
  • Jean Macisaac, aged 30, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Clifford" in 1842
  • Robert Macisaac, aged 13, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Clifford" in 1842
  • Richard Macisaac, aged 10, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Clifford" in 1842
  • Jean Macisaac, aged 8, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Clifford" in 1842


  • David MacIsaac (b. 1972), American former professional ice hockey player, current Head Coach of the Icelandic National Men's Hockey team
  • John A. "Jack" MacIsaac (b. 1939), Canadian politician, MLA for Pictou Centre, Nova Scotia (1977-1993)
  • Gregory "Greg" MacIsaac (b. 1945), Canadian politician, MLA for Richmond Nova Scotia (1981-1988)
  • Al MacIsaac (b. 1967), Canadian Vice President, Hockey Operations of the Chicago Blackhawks Hockey Club
  • Alexander Angus “Tando” MacIsaac (1907-1968), Canadian politician and Member of the Legislature for Guysborough, Nova Scotia (1960-1968), father of Angus "Tando" MacIsaac
  • Steve MacIsaac, Canadian comics artist and creator
  • Peter A. MacIsaac (1878-1969), Canadian dairy farmer and politician on Prince Edward Island who represented 1st Kings in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island from 1935 to 1943
  • Martha MacIsaac (b. 1984), Canadian television and film actress, and former child actress, best known for her role of Becca in the 2007 teen comedy Superbad
  • Jason MacIsaac, Canadian founding member and principal songwriter for the orchestral pop group The Heavy Blinkers
  • Robert Scott Alexander "Rob" MacIsaac (b. 1962), Canadian president and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences



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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  9. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  10. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  11. ...

The MacIsaac Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The MacIsaac Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 10 October 2015 at 20:11.

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