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

Origins Available: Scottish-Alt, Scottish

Where did the Scottish MacKenzie family come from? What is the Scottish MacKenzie family crest and coat of arms? When did the MacKenzie family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the MacKenzie family history?

The root of the ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name MacKenzie is the personal name Coinneach. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Coinnich or Mac Choinnich, both of which mean son of Coinneach. However, In Adamnan, the Gaelic form of the name is Cainnechus, which is derived from the word cann, meaning fair or bright; thus, the surname is of the 'nickname' variety in this case.

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Historical recordings of the name MacKenzie include many spelling variations. They include They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. MacKenzie, McKenzie, Kennethson, Kenneth, Kennieson, MacCoinnich (Gaelic), MacWhinnie, MacWhinny, MacWhinney and many more.

First found in Ross-shire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rois) a former county, now part of the Council Areas of Highland and Western Isles in Northern Scotland, which emerged from the Gaelic lordship of the Earl of Ross, 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 MacKenzie research. Another 383 words(27 lines of text) covering the years 1278, 1715, 1771, 1561, 1568, 1594, 1569, 1611, 1651, 1635, 1678, 1636, 1691, 1688, 1662, 1677, 1677, 1688, 1630, 1714 and are included under the topic Early MacKenzie History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 269 words(19 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacKenzie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the MacKenzie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Descendents of Dalriadan-Scottish families still populate many communities across North America. They are particularly common in Canada, since many went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the American War of Independence. Much later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the highland games and Clan societies that now dot North America sprang up, allowing many Scots to recover their lost national heritage. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name MacKenzie, or a variant listed above:

MacKenzie Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Collen Mackenzie, who arrived in Maryland or Virginia in 1680

MacKenzie Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • William Mackenzie, who landed in Cape Fear, North Carolina in 1746
  • Mary Mackenzie, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1758
  • Anne Mackenzie, who landed in South Carolina in 1760
  • Duncan Mackenzie, who arrived in New York in 1770
  • John Mackenzie, aged 16, arrived in Carolina in 1774


MacKenzie Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Hector Mackenzie, who arrived in New York in 1800
  • Philip MacKenzie, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Ralph MacKenzie, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Alex MacKenzie, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • John MacKenzie, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811


MacKenzie Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Elizabeth MacKenzie, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Janet MacKenzie, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1801

MacKenzie Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John MacKenzie arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Helen Thompson" in 1840
  • George MacKenzie arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Rajasthan" in 1840
  • Janet MacKenzie arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Rajasthan" in 1840
  • Sarah Mackenzie, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Angelina" on April 25, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Alex MacKenzie arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848


MacKenzie Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Hugh MacKenzie, aged 50, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840
  • Catherine MacKenzie, aged 46, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840
  • Jane MacKenzie, aged 24, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840
  • Peggy MacKenzie, aged 21, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840
  • Mary MacKenzie, aged 17, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840


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  • Will Mackenzie (b. 1938), award-winning American television director
  • Chief Boatswain's Mate John MacKenzie (1886-1933), United States Naval Reserve sailor and a recipient of the Medal of Honor
  • Kenneth Ross MacKenzie (1912-2002), American nuclear physicist who co-synthesized the element astatine in 1940
  • William Lyon Mackenzie (1795-1861), Scottish-born, Canadian and American journalist, politician, and rebellion leader, the first mayor of Toronto, an important leader during the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion
  • Ranald Slidell Mackenzie (1840-1889), United States Army officer and general in the Union Army during the American Civil War
  • George Henry Mackenzie (1837-1891), Scottish-American chess master
  • Mrs. Mary Mackenzie (d. 1915), American 2nd Class passenger from New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie (1847-1935), Scottish composer, conductor and teacher
  • James Mackenzie VC (1889-1914), Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Major John Mackenzie VC, DCM (1871-1915), Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Luceo non uro
Motto Translation: I shine not burn.

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MacKenzie Clan Badge
MacKenzie Clan Badge

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A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...

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Septs of the Distinguished Name MacKenzie
Cluness, Clunies, Consnave, Cromarty, Enna, Enzie, Kena, Kenaugh, Kenna, Kennagh, Kennaugh, Kenneth, Kennethson, Kenset, Kensett, Kensit, Kenzie, Kiney, Kinna, Kinnawe, Kinneavy, Kinney, Kinnie, Kinny, MacAweeny, MacBeolain, MacCoinich, MacCoinnich, MacConnach, MacConsnave, MacEna, MacEnna, MacEnzie, Mackena, MacKenagh, MacKeney, MacKenie, MacKenn, Mackenna, MacKennagh, MacKenney, MacKennie, MacKenny, MacKeny, MacKenzey, MacKenzie, MacKenzy, Mackina, MacKinawe, MacKineavy and more.

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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  5. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  9. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  10. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  11. ...

The MacKenzie Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The MacKenzie 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 25 April 2015 at 16:41.

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