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


The root of the ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name McAteer is the Gaelic form Mac-an-Tsaoir, which denotes son of the carpenter or wright.

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The surname McAteer was first found in on the Isle of Iona, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

The translation of Gaelic names in the Middle Ages was not a task undertaken with great care. Records from that era show an enormous number of spelling variations, even in names referring to the same person. Over the years McAteer has appeared as MacAteer, MacTear, MacTeir, MacTire, MacAtee, MacAtter, MacAttur and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McAteer research. Another 127 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1372, 1564 and 1564 are included under the topic Early McAteer History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 25 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McAteer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the McAteer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 147 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many settled along the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. As the American War of Independence broke out, those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these hardy Dalriadan-Scottish settlers began to recover their collective history in the 20th century with the advent of the vibrant culture fostered by highland games and Clan societies in North America. Highland games, clan societies, and other organizations generated much renewed interest in Scottish heritage in the 20th century. The McAteer were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown:

McAteer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Alexander McAteer, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1866
  • James McAteer, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1868

McAteer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John McAteer arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Black Eagle" in 1861
  • James McAteer, aged 20, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878
  • Catherine McAteer, aged 18, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878

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  • James J. McAteer, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1912; Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Hudson County, 1918-20
  • James McAteer, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1956
  • J. Marshall McAteer, American Republican politician, Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates from Marion County, 1940, 1964
  • J. Eugene McAteer, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1960, 1964
  • Henry J. McAteer, American Democrat politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Huntingdon County, 1870-71; Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 33rd District, 1885-88
  • Ed McAteer, American politician, Independent Candidate for U.S. Senator from Tennessee, 1984
  • Myrtle McAteer (1878-1952), American tennis player who won the U.S. singles title in 1900, and doubles titles in 1899 and 1901
  • John McAteer (b. 1933), National Organizer of the Scottish National Party
  • Mr. Francis Mcateer (d. 1915), English Fireman from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Hugh McAteer (1917-1972), Irish leader of the Irish Republican Army

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  • The William McAteer Family by Sallie Stewart Harrison.
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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 ardua
Motto Translation: Through difficulties.

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  1. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  4. 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.
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  7. 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.
  8. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. 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).
  11. ...

The McAteer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McAteer 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 2016 at 20:45.

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