MacLivartay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The MacLivartay family finds its ancestral home among the rugged mountains and sea-swept Hebrides islands of Scotland's west coast. In that area, once known as the kingdom of Dalriada, MacLivartay evolved as a nickname for a prominent ruler. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Fhlaithbheartaich, which means son of the dominion bearing, or son of the ruler. The name is a cognate of the Irish name Flaherty, which is Flaithbheartach in Gaelic. Flaithbheartach, in modern Irish, means generous or hospitable, which may hint at some of the qualities that are described by the name MacLivartay.

Early Origins of the MacLivartay family

The surname MacLivartay was first found in Islay, one of the Hebridean islands, and Court of the Lords of the Isles from very ancient times. The MacLavertys, MacLevertys, and variations on that spelling were heralds of the great Lords of the Isles, the first Dalriadan kingdom of Scotland.

The MacLiver variant is an interesting one. "The old pronunciation was Macleever, [while] the modern is Macliver. A commission was granted Campbell of Auchinbrek and others in 1619 to apprehend Ewne M' Finla VcGillevir in Kilchoane, and John McEwne VcIlliver, who had been denounced rebels by Campbell of Barbreck. John Roy M'Gilliver in Islay, 1686. Sometimes confused with Macclure, q. v. M'Ileur (in Islay) 1733." [1]

Early History of the MacLivartay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacLivartay research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1524 and 1540 are included under the topic Early MacLivartay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacLivartay Spelling Variations

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. MacLivartay has appeared as MacLaverty, McLaverty, McLafferty, MacLafferty, MacLardy, MacLardie, McLardy, McLardie, MacLeverty, McLeverty, MacLacharty, McLacharty and many more.

Early Notables of the MacLivartay family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early MacLivartay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the MacLivartay family to Ireland

Some of the MacLivartay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the MacLivartay family

Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name MacLivartay or a variant listed above: John McClarty, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1856; Pat, Neil, John and Cornelius McClafferty settled in Philadelphia between 1834 and 1860.



The MacLivartay Motto +

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: Per mare per terras
Motto Translation: By sea and by land.


  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)


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