MacNabb History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name MacNabb comes from the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada, where it was used to indicate someone who worked as a son of an abbot. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac an Aba. They are descended from the hereditary abbots of St. Fillan's near Loch Earn. Fillan was a royal prince of the royal house of Dalriada. In the reign of William, the Lyon of Scotland, the Abbots of Glendochart held a rank equivalent to the Earls of Atholl and Menteith. The Clan held the barony of Glendochart at the west end of Loch Tay.

Early Origins of the MacNabb family

The surname MacNabb was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland, where they joined with the MacDougalls in opposing Robert the Bruce and consequently lost many of the vast territories they had held. However, the Chief of the MacNabs finally became reconciled to the Bruce, and regained many of his lost lands when King David II came to the throne of Scotland. He also received the official charter for the barony of Bowaine dated 1336. Finlay MacNab, the 4th Chief of the Clan, added considerably to the estates toward the end of the 15th century, but in 1552 another Finlay, the 6th Chief, fell into financial difficulties and mortgaged most of the Clan lands to the Campbell of Glenorchy. The Clan, however, refused to acknowledge the superiority of the Campbells

Important Dates for the MacNabb family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacNabb research. Another 403 words (29 lines of text) covering the years 1612, 1651, 1660, 1745, 1780, 1816, 1820, 1770, 1860, 1798, 1862, 1854, 1856 and are included under the topic Early MacNabb History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacNabb Spelling Variations

Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. In various documents MacNabb has been spelled MacNab, MacNabb, MacKnab, Mac an Aba (Gaelic) and others.

Early Notables of the MacNabb family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the MacNabb family to Ireland

Some of the MacNabb family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacNabb migration to the United States

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 MacNabb, or a variant listed above:

MacNabb Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James MacNabb, who arrived in New England in 1651-1652 [1]
MacNabb Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Alexander, Thomas and John MacNabb, who settled in Jamaica in 1716
  • Thomas MacNabb, who landed in Maryland in 1716 [1]
  • John Macnabb, who landed in Maryland in 1747 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name MacNabb (post 1700)

  • James Alexander MacNabb (1901-1990), British gold medalist rower at the 1924 Summer Olympics

Citations

  1. ^ 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)
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