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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

Where did the Scottish McAbee family come from? What is the Scottish McAbee family crest and coat of arms? When did the McAbee family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McAbee family history?

The western coast of Scotland and the desolate Hebrides islands are the ancient home of the McAbee family. Their name is derived from the Gaelic form Mac-Aba, which means son of the Abbot.


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. McAbee has appeared in various documents spelled MacCabe, McCabe, McAbe, MacAbe and others.

First found in on the Isle of Arran, where they held a family seat from early times. The family name McAbee first appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McAbee research. Another 227 words (16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McAbee History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early McAbee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the McAbee family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 170 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name McAbee or a variant listed above include:

McAbee Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Alice McAbee, aged 20, who emigrated to America, in 1893

McAbee Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Kate McAbee, who emigrated to the United States, in 1903
  • Ghas McAbee, aged 42, who landed in America, in 1904
  • Robert Austen McAbee, who emigrated to the United States, in 1908
  • Lola J. McAbee, aged 17, who landed in America, in 1912
  • Lola McAbee, aged 17, who settled in America, in 1913


  • Cory McAbee (b. 1961), American writer, director and lead vocalist of the band Billy Nayer Show
  • Bruce McAbee (b. 1951), American farmer and financial services executive, CEO of Farm Credit of New Mexico(20032008)


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: Aut Vincere Aut Mori
Motto Translation: Either to conquer or die.


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  1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  2. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  3. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  6. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  9. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The McAbee Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McAbee Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 23 March 2015 at 08:33.

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