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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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

McAllister is a very old Scottish name that may even date back to the Dalriadan tribe of Scotland's western coast and Hebrides islands. It comes from the given name Alexander, which in turn was originally derived from the Greek name, which means defender of men. In the late 11th century, Queen Margaret introduced the name, which she had heard in the Hungarian Court where she was raised, into Scotland by naming one of her sons Alexander. The popularity of the name Alexander was ensured by the fact that it was born by three Scottish kings, the first being Margaret's son who succeeded to the throne of Scotland following the death of Malcolm III.

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Spelling variations are a very common occurrence in records of early Scottish names. They result from the repeated and inaccurate translations that many names went through in the course of various English occupations of Scotland. McAllister has been spelled Alexander, Alistair, MacAlexander, Alisandre, Alischoner, Alsinder, Alastair, MacAlexter, Callestar, Aleckander, Alexandri, Alisdair, Alaisder, Alestare, Alistare and many more.

First found in Kintyre, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McAllister research. Another 925 words (66 lines of text) covering the years 1230, 1295, 1475, 1602, 1200, 1605, 1615, 1765, 1846, 1431, 1570, 1640, 1614, 1588, 1655, 1640, 1643, 1619, 1681, 1665, 1681, 1620, 1665, 1660, 1665, 1653, 1686, 1797 and are included under the topic Early McAllister History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 175 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McAllister Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the McAllister 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.

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Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first McAllisters to arrive in North America:

McAllister Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Angus McAllister, who arrived in New England in 1718
  • Archibald McAllister, who landed in New England in 1738-1739
  • Florance McAllister, who arrived in New York, NY in 1738
  • Richard McAllister, who landed in New England in 1738-1739
  • Margaret McAllister, who landed in New York in 1740


McAllister Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Alexander McAllister, aged 26, landed in New York in 1812
  • Charles McAllister, aged 23, arrived in Delaware in 1813
  • John McAllister, who landed in America in 1814
  • Daniel McAllister, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1818
  • James McAllister, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1826


McAllister Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Patrick McAllister, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1752

McAllister Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • John McAllister, aged 18, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815
  • John McAllister, aged 18, a labourer, arrived in Saint John NB aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815
  • John McAllister, aged 23, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Edward Reid" in 1833
  • Robert McAllister, aged 18, arrived in St John, New Brunswick in 1833
  • Mary McAllister, aged 10, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Pacific" from Liverpool

McAllister Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Henry McAllister arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Isabella Watson" in 1845
  • Jane McAllister, aged 22, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Victoria Regia"
  • John McAllister, aged 30, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Melbourne"
  • Barbara McAllister, aged 19, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Melbourne"

McAllister Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Thomas McAllister, aged 23, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • Henry McAllister, aged 41, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Woodlark" in 1874
  • Martha McAllister, aged 37, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Woodlark" in 1874
  • Sarah McAllister, aged 10, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Woodlark" in 1874
  • Harry McAllister, aged 8, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Woodlark" in 1874


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  • The Right Reverend Gerald Nicholas McAllister (1923-2014), American prelate, 3rd Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma (1977-1989)
  • Layna McAllister, American cinematographer
  • Tim McAllister (b. 1962), American musician
  • Samuel McAllister (b. 1869), Irish-born American sailor, Medal of Honor recipient
  • Deuce McAllister (b. 1978), American NFL football player
  • William John McAllister (1962-1988), Scottish Passenger from Argyll, Scotland, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died
  • Margaret "Rita" McAllister (b. 1946), Scottish musicologist
  • Kevin McAllister (b. 1962), Scottish footballer
  • Gary McAllister MBE (b. 1964), Scottish professional footballer, manager
  • Craig McAllister (b. 1980), Scottish footballer

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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, by land.

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  1. 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.
  2. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  3. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  5. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  6. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  7. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  8. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The McAllister Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McAllister 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 6 December 2015 at 10:57.

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