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


The west coast of Scotland and the rocky Hebrides islands are the ancient home of the McCallister family. The root of their name is the given name Alexander, which in turn was originally derived from the Greek name, which means defender of men. In the late 11th century, Queen Margaret introduced the name, which she had heard in the Hungarian Court where she was raised, into Scotland by naming one of her sons Alexander. The popularity of the name Alexander was ensured by the fact that it was born by three Scottish kings, the first being Margaret's son who succeeded to the throne of Scotland following the death of Malcolm III.

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The surname McCallister was first found in Kintyre, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Spelling and translation were not standardized practices until the last few centuries. Spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. McCallister has been spelled Alexander, Alistair, MacAlexander, Alisandre, Alischoner, Alsinder, Alastair, MacAlexter, Callestar, Aleckander, Alexandri, Alisdair, Alaisder, Alestare, Alistare and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCallister research. Another 925 words (66 lines of text) covering the years 1230, 1295, 1475, 1602, 1200, 1605, 1615, 1765, 1846, 1431, 1570, 1640, 1614, 1588, 1655, 1640, 1643, 1619, 1681, 1665, 1681, 1620, 1665, 1660, 1665, 1653, 1686, 1797 and are included under the topic Early McCallister History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 175 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McCallister Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the McCallister family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 187 words (13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first McCallisters to arrive in North America:

McCallister Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Cornelius McCallister, who arrived in New Castle, Del in 1792

McCallister Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Felix McCallister, who arrived in America in 1811
  • John McCallister, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1814
  • Archibald McCallister, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1837
  • David McCallister, who landed in Texas in 1850
  • Alex McCallister, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1855


McCallister Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Annie McCallister, aged 28, who emigrated to the United States from Newcastlewood, in 1905
  • William McCallister, aged 22, who settled in America from St. Johns, in 1905
  • Mary McCallister, aged 23, who emigrated to America from Down, in 1906
  • Michael McCallister, aged 2, who landed in America from Portrush, Ireland, in 1907
  • Charles McCallister, aged 3, who emigrated to America from Portrush, Ireland, in 1907


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  • Herbert Alonzo "Lon" McCallister Jr. (1923-2005), American actor, best known for his roles in The Red House (1947), The Story of Seabiscuit (1949) and The Big Cat (1949)
  • Blaine McCallister (b. 1958), American PGA golfer who has had 5 PGA Tour Wins
  • Michael McCallister, American chief executive of Humana, a health insurance company
  • Herbert Alonzo "Lon" McCallister Jr. (1923-2005), American actor who appeared with Edward G. Robinson in The Red House and with Shirley Temple in The Story of Seabiscuit (1947)
  • Jack McCallister (1879-1946), American Major League Baseball coach and manager of the Cleveland Indians
  • Charles McCallister (1903-1997), American bronze medalist water polo player at the 1932 Summer Olympics
  • Robert "Bob" McCallister (b. 1934), American PGA and Senior PGA golfer
  • John McCallister MLA (b. 1972), Northern Ireland Unionist politician, Deputy Leader of NI21 (2013-2014), Deputy Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (2010-2012)


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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 mare, per terras
Motto Translation: By sea, by land.

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  1. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  2. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  5. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  7. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  8. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  11. ...

The McCallister Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McCallister 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 5 April 2016 at 07:49.

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