McAra History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

On the Scottish west coast, the McAra family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. Their name comes from the name Macara, which is the Gaelic word for son of the young, manly one.

Early Origins of the McAra family

The surname McAra was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the McAra family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McAra research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1690, 1745, and 1815 are included under the topic Early McAra History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McAra Spelling Variations

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. McAra has appeared as McAree, MacAree, McAra, MacAra, McArra, MacArra, McCarra, MacCarra, McCarry, MacCarry, McCarrie and many more.

Early Notables of the McAra family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early McAra Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the McAra family to Ireland

Some of the McAra family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 106 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand McAra migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McAra Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Rev. John McAra, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Margaret Galbraith" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 7th March 1872 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name McAra (post 1700) +

  • Harry B. McAra, American politician, Circuit Judge in Michigan 7th Circuit, 1975-85 [2]
  • Irene Helen McAra McWilliam OBE, Scottish design researcher and academic, specialising in design innovation, Interim Director of the Glasgow School of Art since November 2018, former Professor and Business Fellow in Innovation at the Royal College of Art, and Professor of Design Research at Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Lesley McAra CBE, Scottish Chair of Penology at the University of Edinburgh, fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and was awarded a CBE in the New Year's Honours List 2018, for services to Criminology
  • Judith McAra Couper, New Zealand academic and a professor of midwifery at Auckland University of Technology
  • Tracie McAra (b. 1960), Canadian basketball player who competed in the women's tournament at the 1984 Summer Olympics
  • James McAra (1876-1947), Scottish-born, Canadian businessman and politician from Edinburgh, Mayor of Regina (1927-1930) and (1932-1933), brother of Peter McAra Jr
  • Peter McAra Jr. (1862-1949), India-born, Canadian was a businessman and politician, Mayor of Regina, Saskatchewan in 1906 and from 1911 to 1912
  • Sir Douglas McAra,


  1. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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