McBirarthay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In the Scotland of ancient times, McBirarthay was a name for a noted mariner or a sea captain. [1]

Early Origins of the McBirarthay family

The surname McBirarthay was first found in the islands of Arran and Bute. Early records for the family are scarce. "In 1506 Gilcrist Makwrerdy held the lands of Bransar in Bute, and Finlay Makvreirdy had sasine of Brothok there in the same year. Donald Makwrarty of Birgadulknok appears in 1534; several M'Urartys appear as witnesses in Bute in 1540; and Sir James M'Wartye, a Pope's knight, appears as vicar of Kingarth in Bute, 1554 and 1556. James Makilveritie, chaplain in the chapel of S. Michael the Archangel in Rothesay Castle, between 1590-1600, appears in the Exchequer Rolls as McQuhirertie, McQuhirirtie, McQuheritie (these three spellings in 1596), McIliquharartie (1598), and Makquhirrirtie (1600). " [2]

The MacMurtrie variant is "current in Ayrshire and Lanarkshire, Gilbert Makmurtye was a witness in Edinburgh, 1508." [2]

Early History of the McBirarthay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McBirarthay research. Another 290 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1622, 1662, 1706, 1663, 1790, 1887, 1929, 1662, 1506, 1547, 1626, 1541, 1600, 1562, 1623, 1520, 1566, 1517, 1517, 1568, 1539, 1564, 1561, 1506, 1566, 1642, 1623, 1555 and are included under the topic Early McBirarthay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McBirarthay Spelling Variations

Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, McBirarthay has been spelled MacCurdy, MacKirdy, MacKirdie, MacCurdie, MacQuartie, MacBararthy, MacBerarthy, MacWerarthy, MacMurtrie, MacMutrie and many more.

Early Notables of the McBirarthay family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the McBirarthay family to Ireland

Some of the McBirarthay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 94 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McBirarthay family

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 McBirarthay arrived in North America very early: James McCurdy, and his wife Elizabeth Ayers, who were recorded as Scotch-Irish living in New Hampshire in 1730; Archibald Mccurdy, who arrived in New England in 1737 with his five children, John McCurdy, who arrived in New England in 1745.



The McBirarthay 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: Dieu et mon pays
Motto Translation: God and my country.


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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