McAlester History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

McAlester is one of the names derived from the families of the ancient Dalriadan clans of Scotland. It is derived from the Gaelic Mac Alasdair "son of Alasdair," which correlates to the personal name Alexander.

Early Origins of the McAlester family

The surname McAlester was first found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where Alasdair Mòr was listed on record in 1253, as witnessing a charter by his brother, Aonghas Mór a Íle, to the Paisley Abbey.

Early History of the McAlester family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McAlester research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the year 1645 is included under the topic Early McAlester History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McAlester Spelling Variations

Spelling in the medieval era was a highly imprecise process. Translation, particularly from Gaelic to English, was little better. For these reasons, early Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. In various documents McAlester has been spelled MacAlister, MacAllister, MacAllaster, MacAllestair, MacAllester, MacAllister and many more.

Early Notables of the McAlester family (pre 1700)

Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McAlester Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the McAlester family to Ireland

Some of the McAlester family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States McAlester migration to the United States +

The hardy Scots who made the crossing settled all along the east coast of North America and in the great west that was just then opening up. At the time of the American War of Independence, many United Empire Loyalists moved north from the American colonies to Canada. Scottish national heritage became better known in North America in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic events. An examination of immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name McAlester arrived in North America very early:

McAlester Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Richard McAlester, who arrived in America in 1760-1763 [1]
  • Mary McAlester, who landed in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1774 [1]
  • Catherine McAlester, aged 58, who landed in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1774 [1]
  • John McAlester, aged 30, who arrived in New York in 1775 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name McAlester (post 1700) +

  • James Jackson McAlester (1842-1920), American Democrat politician, Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma, 1911-15. Founder of McAlester, Oklahoma [2]

The McAlester 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: Per mare per terras
Motto Translation: By sea and by land.

  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)
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 10) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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