The roots of the name MacKelivary are found among the Pictish clans of ancient Scotland
. The name comes from a personal name
meaning servant of judgement.
The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Gillebhrath.
Early Origins of the MacKelivary family
The surname MacKelivary 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
, but this family seat
was later moved to Iona
with the advent of St. Columba. From this original descendancy came Giolla Brighid, known also as Gillibride, or Gillivray. Gillivray's son, Somerled, the 8th and greatest Thane of Argyll, Lord of Kintyre
, and founder of the 'Kingdom of the Isles' was instrumental in driving out the invading Norse (Vikings) from his Kingdom, commencing in 1140 AD. However, Somerled, still gave allegiance to the King of Vikings
which continued until 1222, long after Somerled's death in 1164 AD. At this time, Alexander II of Scotland
routed many of the Clans 'of the Isles', leaving them eastern Scotland
in an area from Glasgow north to Inverness to the East Coast. The MacGillivrays were moved northwards to Lochabe. They became closely associated with their neighbors, the McInnises, the McMasters, and the MacEacherns. They also joined the great Pictish confederacy of Clans known as the Clan
Chattan, an association of some twenty six Clans, during the time of Ferquhard, 5th Chief of the MacKintosh, and Chief of the Clan
Early History of the MacKelivary family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacKelivary research.Another 653 words (47 lines of text) covering the years 1467, 1535, 1542, 1550, 1688, 15 a, 1745 and 1822 are included under the topic Early MacKelivary History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacKelivary Spelling Variations
Although Medieval Scotland
lacked a basic set of spelling rules, which meant that scribes recorded names according to their sounds it was not uncommon for the names of a father and son to be recorded differently. As a result, there are many spelling variations
of Scottish single names. MacKelivary has been written MacGillivray, MacGillivery, MacGillivary, MacGillivry, MacIlvray, MacIlvrae, MacIlwrach, MacIlwray, MacGivery, MacGivray, McGillivrae and many more.
Early Notables of the MacKelivary family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan
at this time was MacGillivray of Dunmaglass. The Hon. William McGillivray, son of Donald McGillivray of Dalscoilte, near Dunmaglass, was the head of the NorthWest Company fur trading... Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacKelivary Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacKelivary family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of Scots left their home country to travel to Ireland
, or to cross the Atlantic for the North American colonies. The difficult crossing was an enormous hurdle, but those who survived found freedom and opportunity in ample measure. Some Scots even fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence
. This century, their ancestors have become aware of the illustrious history of the Scots in North America and at home through Clan
societies and other organizations. Passenger and immigration lists show many early and influential immigrants bearing the name MacKelivary: Alexander, Donald, Fargus, James, John, Loughlin, Owen, and William MacGillivray, who all arrived in South Carolina in 1716; Donald McGillivray, who settled in Ontario in 1794.