Show ContentsMacQuarie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the MacQuarie family. Their name comes from Guaire, an old Gaelic personal name meaning noble or proud. 1

Early Origins of the MacQuarie family

The surname MacQuarie was first found in on the Isle of Ulva, where they were originally a branch of the 'Siol Alpin,' the descendants of Kenneth Mac Alpin, founder and first king of Scotland during the 9th century.

One of the first records of the family was "John M'Goyre of Wlua [who] witnessed a charter by John of Yle, Earl of Ross, in 1463. In the royal confirmation of this charter his name appears as M'Geir de Ulva. In the Gaelic genealogical manuscript of 1467 the name appears correctly as M'Guaire." 2

Later, Donald McGillecallum McGorre or McQuhorre was tenant of Kyllewane in Kintyre, 1506, and Cillecallum McNeill McQuhore was also a tenant in Kintyre in the same year. 2

"A side form of the name is Macwharrie, and this shortened to Wharrie is also in current use. In the Isle of Man the name has become Quarry and Querry, and in Ireland it is Gorey (from UaGuaire). " 2

Early History of the MacQuarie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacQuarie research. Another 336 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1509, 1517, 1581, 1627, 1630, 1673, 1674, 1745, 1777, 1778, 1781, 1784, 1787, 1809, 1810, 1811, 1813, 1818, 1824 and 1890 are included under the topic Early MacQuarie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacQuarie Spelling Variations

Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. MacQuarie has been written as MacQuarrie, MacQuarie, MacQuarry, McQuarrie, McQuarry, MacQuerry, MacCorrie, MacCorry, MacQuarrey, MacWharrie and many more.

Early Notables of the MacQuarie family

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was

  • Lachlan MacQuarie (d. 1824), major-general and governor of New South Wales, came of an old Scottish family which had been established for many generations on the island of Ulva, near Mull. His father...
  • Towards the close of 1809 Macquarie proceeded with his regiment to the convict settlement of New South Wales. The colony was in a critical state. The New South Wales corps, acting with the less law-ab...
  • For the twelve years of his administration Macquarie was practically dictator of the settlement. When the secretary of state informed him that it was not the intention of his majesty's government to a...
  • His expenditure on public works was very lavish. 'The number of public buildings … erected or constructed by Governor Macquarie not only in Sydney and Paramatta, but in all the other settlements of th...

Ireland Migration of the MacQuarie family to Ireland

Some of the MacQuarie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States MacQuarie migration to the United States +

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 MacQuarie or a variant listed above:

MacQuarie Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Arthur J. Macquarie, aged 21, who arrived in America from Liverpool, in 1897
MacQuarie Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • David Shand Macquarie, aged 28, who immigrated to America from Sourock, in 1903

Contemporary Notables of the name MacQuarie (post 1700) +

  • Elizabeth Macquarie (1778-1835), the second wife of Lachlan Macquarie. Tradition holds that she took long walks on the Sydney Harbour peninsula, (later named Mrs Macquarie's Point) and rested a the point where a sandstone rock has been cut in the shape of a bench, so named "Mrs Macquarie's Chair"
  • Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB (1762-1824), British military officer and colonial administrator, served as Governor of New South Wales, Australia from 1810 to 1821, eponym of numerous places throughout Australia
  • Major General John Macquarie Antill Jr. CB, CMG (b. 1866), Australian Army officer in the New South Wales Mounted Rifles serving in the Second Boer War, and an Australian Army general in World War I

The MacQuarie 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: Turris fortis meus mihi Deus
Motto Translation: To me God is my strong tower

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. 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) on Facebook