McBlain History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the surname McBlain lived among the Boernicians of the Scottish/English Borderlands. The name comes from the Gaelic personal name Bleen, which means yellow. It was also the name of an early Celtic saint.

Early Origins of the McBlain family

The surname McBlain was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, 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 McBlain family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McBlain research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1561, 1660, and 1674 are included under the topic Early McBlain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McBlain Spelling Variations

Boernician names that evolved in the largely preliterate Middle Ages are often marked by considerable spelling variations. McBlain has been spelled Blain, Blane, Blaine, Blaines, Blahan and others.

Early Notables of the McBlain family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the McBlain family to Ireland

Some of the McBlain family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States McBlain migration to the United States +

Some of the Boernician-Scottish Clan families who came to North America were Loyalists who went north to Canada after the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border went on to found two of the world's great nations. This century, families with Scottish roots have rediscovered their heritage through highland games and clan societies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name McBlain or a variant listed above:

McBlain Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas McBlain, aged 62, who arrived in America, in 1894
McBlain Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Agnes McBlain, aged 31, who arrived in America from Belfast, Ireland, in 1909
  • Hugh McBlain, aged 27, who arrived in America from Palna, Scotland, in 1909
  • George McBlain, aged 22, who arrived in America from Putna, Scotland, in 1910
  • Alexander McBlain, aged 21, who arrived in America from Maybole, Scotland, in 1911
  • Archibald McBlain, aged 19, who arrived in America from Maybole, Scotland, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name McBlain (post 1700) +

  • David McBlain (d. 1997), American actor, known for his work on Gangs of New York, The Boxer (1997) and High Boot Benny (1993)
  • Major General John F. McBlain (1900-1947), American Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, U.S. Air Forces in Europe in February 1947, awarded the Legion of Merit
  • Major-General John Ferral McBlain (1900-1967), American Deputy Director of the Secretary of the Air Force Personnel Council (1953) [1]
  • William J. McBlain, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Wilmington, Delaware, 1956-57 [2]
  • David McBlain (1755-1847), Irish architect, active in Co. Derry and Belfast from the 1770s onwards

The McBlain 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: Paritur pax bello
Motto Translation: Peace is obtained by war.

  1. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2013, February 12) John McBlain. Retrieved from
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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