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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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.

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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.


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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.

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

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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


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  • David MacIsaac (b. 1972), American former professional ice hockey player, current Head Coach of the Icelandic National Men's Hockey team
  • Ashley Dwayne MacIsaac (b. 1975), Canadian three-time Juno Award winning professional fiddler from Cape Breton Island
  • Angus "Tando" MacIsaac (b. 1943), English-born, Canadian educator, politician and businessman, MLA for Guysborough, Nova Scotia (1969-1973 and for Antigonish (1999-2009)
  • Angus MacIsaac (1900-1944), Australian rules footballer who played in the VFL between 1922 and 1924
  • Dave MacIsaac (b. 1955), Canadian Celtic musician from Nova Scotia
  • Mary MacIsaac (1893-2006), Canadian super-centenarian, Saskatchewan's oldest person who lived to 112 years old, second oldest in Canada, and 19th in the world at her death
  • Rob MacIsaac (b. 1962), Canadian politician, former mayor of Burlington, Ontario
  • John Laughlin MacIsaac (1870-1941), Canadian physician and political figure in Nova Scotia
  • Robert Scott Alexander "Rob" MacIsaac (b. 1962), Canadian president and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences
  • Jason MacIsaac, Canadian founding member and principal songwriter for the orchestral pop group The Heavy Blinkers

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  1. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  2. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  7. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  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 11 February 2015 at 11:23.

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