MacIsaac History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the MacIsaac family

The surname MacIsaac was 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.

Early History of the MacIsaac family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacIsaac research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the year 1685 is included under the topic Early MacIsaac History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacIsaac 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. MacIsaac has appeared as MacIsaac, MacIsaack and others.

Early Notables of the MacIsaac family (pre 1700)

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


United States MacIsaac 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 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, who settled in New York in 1775

Canada MacIsaac migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

MacIsaac Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John MacIsaac, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Dougal MacIsaac, who settled in Sandy Point, Newfoundland in 1870 [1]
  • Alexander MacIsaac of Cod Rivers settled in Sandy Point, Newfoundland in 1871 [1]

New Zealand MacIsaac migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

MacIsaac Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Richard Macisaac, aged 32, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifford" in 1842
  • Jean Macisaac, aged 30, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifford" in 1842
  • Robert Macisaac, aged 13, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifford" in 1842
  • Richard Macisaac, aged 10, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifford" in 1842
  • Jean Macisaac, aged 8, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifford" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name MacIsaac (post 1700) +

  • David MacIsaac (b. 1972), American former professional ice hockey player, current Head Coach of the Icelandic National Men's Hockey team
  • John Laughlin MacIsaac (1870-1941), Canadian physician and politician who represented Antigonish County in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1925 to 1941
  • 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
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0


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