McCandless History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the McCandless family

The surname McCandless was 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.

Early History of the McCandless family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCandless research. Another 84 words (6 lines of text) covering the year 1794 is included under the topic Early McCandless History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McCandless Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the McCandless family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the McCandless family to Ireland

Some of the McCandless family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 51 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 McCandless migration to the United States +

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 [1]
McCandless Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert McCandless, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1803 [1]
  • William McCandless, who arrived in South Carolina in 1825 [1]
  • John McCandless, aged 17, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1832 [1]
  • James McCandless, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1837 [1]

Canada McCandless migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McCandless Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Catherine McCandless, aged 2 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Sisters" departing 22nd April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 20th June 1847 but she died on board [2]
  • Mrs. Mary McCandless, aged 26 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Sisters" departing 22nd April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 20th June 1847 but she died on board [2]
  • Mr. Thomas McCandless, aged 3 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Sisters" departing 22nd April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 20th June 1847 but he died on board [2]

New Zealand McCandless migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McCandless Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John McCandless, aged 20, a gardener, who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name McCandless (post 1700) +

  • Commodore Byron McCandless (1881-1967), longtime U.S. Navy officer who was awarded the Navy Cross
  • Bruce McCandless II (b. 1937), American naval officer and aviator, electrical engineer, and NASA astronaut with over 312 hours in space; he made the first untethered free flight by using the Manned Maneuvering Unit [3]
  • Alfred A. "Al" McCandless (1927-2017), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California (1993-1995)
  • Wilson McCandless (1810-1882), United States federal judge
  • William McCandless (1834-1884), officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War
  • Lincoln Loy "Link" McCandless (1859-1940), American cattle rancher, industrialist and politician from Hawaii
  • Stanley McCandless (1897-1967), American considered to be the father of modern lighting design
  • Paul McCandless Jr. (b. 1947), American jazz woodwind player and composer
  • Bruce McCandless (1911-1968), American officer of United States Navy who received the Medal of Honor
  • Sam McCandless (b. 1978), American musician, producer and artist
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


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


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 86)
  3. ^ NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Bruce McCandless. Retrieved from http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/mccandless-b.html


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