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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish McCandless family come from? What is the Scottish McCandless family crest and coat of arms? When did the McCandless family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McCandless family history?


Spelling variations of this family name include: McCandlish, McAndliss, McCandless, McChandliss, McChandlish, McChandless, McCandliss, McCaunless, McCaunles, McKanless, McCanless, Candlish and many more.

First found in Galloway (Gaelic: Gall-ghaidhealaibh), an area of southwestern Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Dumfries and Galloway, that formerly consisted of the counties of Wigtown (West Galloway) and Kirkcudbright (East Galloway), where they held a family seat in Western Scotland. After the Norman Conquest of England many of Duke William's rebellious Barons moved north. The border became a convenient but turbulent no-man's land where the persecuted found haven. Many were given land by King Malcolm Canmore and later by King David of Scotland. Some Gallowegians were native Scots, some were Irish clans mostly from Ulster in the 13th century. The name was first recorded in Scotland about the 15th century in Wigtown. They may also have been McCanish sept of Atholl to the north.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCandless research. Another 164 words(12 lines of text) covering the year 1794 is included under the topic Early McCandless History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early McCandless Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the McCandless family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 255 words(18 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McCandless Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • George McCandless, who arrived in America in 1795

McCandless Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Robert McCandless, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1803
  • William McCandless, who arrived in South Carolina in 1825
  • John McCandless, aged 17, arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1832
  • James McCandless, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1837

McCandless Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John McCandless, aged 20, a gardener, arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1875


  • Bruce McCandless II (b. 1937), former NASA astronaut with over 312 hours in space
  • Bruce McCandless (1911-1968), American officer of United States Navy who received the Medal of Honor
  • Alfred "Al" A. McCandless (b. 1927), American Republican politician from California
  • Paul McCandless Jr. (b. 1947), American jazz woodwind player and composer
  • Commodore Byron McCandless (1881-1967), longtime U.S. Navy officer who was awarded the Navy Cross
  • Sam McCandless (b. 1978), American musician, producer and artist
  • Stanley McCandless (1897-1967), American considered to be the father of modern lighting design
  • Lincoln Loy "Link" McCandless (1859-1940), American cattle rancher, industrialist and politician from Hawaii
  • William McCandless (1834-1884), officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War
  • Wilson McCandless (1810-1882), United States federal judge



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: Sola nobilitas virtus
Motto Translation: Virtue is the only nobility.


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  1. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  2. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  3. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  7. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  11. ...

The McCandless Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McCandless 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 11 April 2015 at 19:34.

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