Show ContentsMacKellar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Strathclyde-Briton people of ancient Scotland were the first to use the name MacKellar. The MacKellar family lived in the lands of (Easter and Wester) Keilor in the adjoining parishes of Newtyle and Kettins in Angus. The names are still common in the district. [1]

Early Origins of the MacKellar family

The surname MacKellar was first found in Angus (Gaelic: Aonghas), part of the Tayside region of northeastern Scotland. "Stephen de Cellar [was] burgess of Roxburgh, 1262. Duncan de Cellario, burgess of Peril 1292 is doubtless Dunkan del Celer, burgess of Perth, who rendered homage in 1296." [1]

The MacKellar variant with its various spellings is in "Gaelic Mac Ealair, 'son of Ealair,' the Gaelic form of Latin Hilarius, the name of the bishop of Poitiers, commemorated in the Felire of Oengus at 13 January. " [1]

Early History of the MacKellar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacKellar research. Another 517 words (37 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1476, 1383, 1436, 1470, 1476, 1488, 1550, 1493, 1496, 1500, 1525, 1528, 1518, 1538, 1550, 1553, 1594, 1688, 1685, 1679, 1345, 1372, 1383, 1398, 1704, 1704, 1834, 1834, 1876, 1885, 1880 and 1797 are included under the topic Early MacKellar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacKellar Spelling Variations

Medieval Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. This is due to the fact that scribes in that era spelled according to the sound of words, rather than any set of rules. MacKellar has been spelled Keller, Kellar, Keeler, Keilor, Keiler, Keillor, Keiller, Kelour, MacKeller and many more.

Early Notables of the MacKellar family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Godfrey Keller (d. 1704), musical theorist and harpsichord player, was born in Germany, but settled in London towards the end of the seventeenth century as professor and composer. He died in November 1704, leaving a widow and two sons. To the elder, Godfrey, he bequeathed his ‘best fiddle’ and spinet. [2] Mary MacKellar (1834-1890), highland poetess, daughter of Allan Cameron, baker at Fort William, was born on 1 Oct. 1834. She married early John Mackellar, captain and joint-owner of a coasting vessel, with...
Another 90 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacKellar Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the MacKellar family to Ireland

Some of the MacKellar family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States MacKellar migration to the United States +

Many Scots were left with few options other than to leave their homeland for the colonies across the Atlantic. Some of these families fought to defend their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. Others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these families have recently been able to rediscover their roots through Clan societies and other Scottish organizations. Among them:

MacKellar Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Charles MacKellar, his wife and three children arrived in New York in 1738
  • Patrick Mackellar, who landed in America in 1755 [3]

Australia MacKellar migration to Australia +

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

MacKellar Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Janet MacKellar, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Glenswilly" in 1839 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name MacKellar (post 1700) +

  • Michael John Randal MacKellar AM (1938-2015), Australian politician born in Sydney, Liberal Member for Warringah from 1969 until 1994
  • Campbell Mackellar (b. 1907), British patron of the British Antarctic Expedition, eponym of the Antarctic Mount Mackellar and Mackellar Glacier
  • C.D. Mackellar (b. 1911), British patron of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, eponym of the Antarctic Mackellar Islands
  • Colonel Patrick Mackellar (1717-1778), British army officer and military engineer, deputy chief engineer at the Siege of Louisbourg (1758) and the chief engineer at the siege of Quebec in 1759
  • Sir Charles Kinnaird Mackellar KCMG (1844-1926), Australian politician and surgeon
  • Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar OBE (1885-1968), Australian poet and fiction writer, best known for her poem My Country

  1. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) GLENSWILLY 1839 (also called DAWSONS). Retrieved from on Facebook