The Irish surname MacKelvey originally appeared in Gaelic as "Mac Fhiodhbhuidhe," which is probably derived from the word "fiodhbhadhach," referring to "a woodman."
from ancient times.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacKelvey research.Another 107 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1100 and 1563 are included under the topic Early MacKelvey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Those scribes in Ireland
during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the MacKelvey family name revealed numerous spelling variations
, including McEvoy, Evoy, McGilloway, McVeagh, McVeigh, McAvoy, McElwee, McElwy and many more.
The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families
for the distant shores of North America and Australia
. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England
. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence
. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland
at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the MacKelvey family relocated to North American shores quite early: James McKelvey, who arrived in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1767; David McKelvey, who was naturalized in South Carolina in 1805; Hugh McKelvey, who was naturalized in Allegheny Co., PA in 1807.