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

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

On the Scottish west coast, the McAlpine family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. Their name comes from the son of the blond one, or son of Alpin.


In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. McAlpine has appeared as MacAlpine, MacAlpin, MacAilpein (Gaelic) and others.

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 they were descended from King Kenneth MacAlpin who was murdered by the Picts near Dundee in the year 834. MacAlpin is generally considered to have been the first king to rule both Scots and Picts, and as such, was the first king of Scotland.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McAlpine research. Another 385 words(28 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1395, 1405, 1531, 1557, 1658, 1725 and 1692 are included under the topic Early McAlpine History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 103 words(7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McAlpine Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the McAlpine family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 51 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


These settlers arrived in North America at a time when the east was burgeoning with prosperous colonies and the expanses of the west were just being opened up. The American War of Independence was also imminent. Some Scots stayed to fight for a new country, while others who remained loyal went north as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of them went on to rediscover their heritage in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic Scottish events. The McAlpine were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

McAlpine Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Dugald McAlpine, who landed in New York in 1738
  • Walter McAlpine, who arrived in New England in 1743
  • William McAlpine, who landed in New England in 1753
  • Daniel McAlpine, who arrived in New York in 1763

McAlpine Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Robert McAlpine, who arrived in Norfolk, Va in 1825
  • Thomas McAlpine, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Chas B McAlpine, aged 18, landed in New York, NY in 1893

McAlpine Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John McAlpine, aged 30, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sea Park"
  • Catherine McAlpine, aged 45, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo"
  • William McAlpine, aged 27, a groom, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo"
  • Andrew McAlpine, aged 38, a weaver, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Switzerland"

McAlpine Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • G McAlpine landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1842
  • Duncan McAlpine, aged 24, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864


  • Sir Robert Edwin McAlpine (1907-1990), Baron McAlpine of Moffat
  • Sir Robert McAlpine (1847-1934), English construction magnate and innovator
  • Gerry McAlpine (b. 1939), Canadian politician, member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba
  • Kenneth McAlpine, English race car (Formula One) driver
  • Chris Mcalpine (b. 1971), American professional (NHL) hockey player
  • Robert Alistair McAlpine (1942-2014), Baron McAlpine of West Green, best known as Alistair McAlpine, a British businessman, politician, author and advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
  • Mr. Al McAlpine (d. 1914), Canadian Second Class Passenger from Montreal, Quebec, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914


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  1. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  2. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  4. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  5. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  6. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  7. 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).
  8. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  9. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The McAlpine Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McAlpine 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 8 April 2015 at 08:25.

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