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 361 words (26 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
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.Another 187 words (13 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 MacPhee family to the New World and Oceana
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
- Daniel MacPhee, who settled in Maryland in 1775
MacPhee Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Alex Macphee, aged 20, who emigrated to America from Glasgow, in 1905
- Mrs. Eliz. Macphee, aged 60, who emigrated to the United States from Glasgow, in 1905
- Wm. Macphee, aged 15, who landed in America from Glasgow, in 1905
- Susan Macphee, aged 25, who settled in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1907
- Anderson MacPhee, aged 27, who landed in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1908
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
MacPhee Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
- Francis J. MacPhee, aged 32, who settled in Montreal, Canada, in 1914
Contemporary Notables of the name MacPhee (post 1700)
- Walter Scott "Waddy" MacPhee (1899-1980), American Major League Baseball third baseman who played for the New York Giants in 1922
- Catherine-Ann MacPhee (b. 1959), Scottish Gaelic singer
- Robyn MacPhee (b. 1983), Canadian gold and two-time bronze medalist curler from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
- Ian Malcolm Macphee (1938-1990), Australian politician, member of the Australian House of Representatives
The MacPhee 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: Pro Rege
Motto Translation: For the King.