MacPhee History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name MacPhee is a nickname for a dark-featured, peaceful person. The Gaelic name of the Clan is Mac Dubhshithe, which translates as black one of peace. One branch of the Clan on the island of North Uist was known as Dubh-sidh, meaning 'black fairy,' due to their whimsical association with the faerie folk.
Early Origins of the MacPhee family
The surname MacPhee was first found in on the Isle of Colonsay, where the eponymous ancestor of the Clan may be Dubhshith, also called Dubside, who was lector at the Cathedral on the sacred isle of Iona in 1164. As the name MacFee is one of the oldest of all Dalriadan surnames it appears in records as early as the reign of Alexander II, when Johannes Macdufthi was witness to a charter in Dumfriesshire. In 1296, Thomas Macdoffy swore an oath of allegiance to the king.
Early History of the MacPhee family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacPhee research. Another 226 words (16 lines of text) covering the year 1838 is included under the topic Early MacPhee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacPhee Spelling Variations
Spelling variations were extremely common in medieval names, since scribes from that era recorded names according to sound rather than a standard set of rules. MacPhee has appeared in various documents spelled MacFie, McFey, MacFee, MacDuffie, MacPhee, MacGuffie, MacCuffie, MacPhie, Maffie, Maffey, MacDubh-shithe (Gaelic) and many more.
Early Notables of the MacPhee family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early MacPhee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacPhee family to Ireland
Some of the MacPhee family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Significant portions of the populations of both the United States and Canada are still made up of the ancestors of Dalriadan families. Some of those in Canada originally settled the United States, but went north as United Empire Loyalists in the American War of Independence. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the ancestors of many Scots on both sides of the border begin to recover their collective national heritage through Clan societies and highland games. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:
MacPhee Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
MacPhee Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
MacPhee Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
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: Pro Rege
Motto Translation: For the King.