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

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

The ancestors of the first family to use the name McCartney lived among the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. The name McCartney comes from the Gaelic name Mac Cartaine, which is a variant of Mac Artain. This means son of Artan and is a diminutive of the old personal name Art.


In medieval Scotland, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations were the result. Over the years, the name McCartney has been spelled MacArtney, MacCartney and others.

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 early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCartney research. Another 181 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1737, 1806, 1792 and 1797 are included under the topic Early McCartney History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McCartney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the McCartney family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


In such difficult times, Ireland, Australia, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through Clan societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of McCartney:

McCartney Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • James McCartney settled in Maryland in 1741
  • James McCartney settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1767
  • Mabel McCartney, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773

McCartney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Patrick McCartney, who arrived in America in 1811
  • John McCartney, aged 52, landed in Tennessee in 1812
  • Elizabeth McCartney, aged 29, landed in Massachusetts in 1812
  • Thomas McCartney, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817
  • David McCartney, aged 38, arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1820-1873

McCartney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Samuel McCartney arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Nicol" in 1840
  • Peter McCartney, Scottish convict from Ayr, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on March 6, 1848, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Mary McCartney, English convict from Northumberland, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on October 4, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia

McCartney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • William McCartney arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mermaid" in 1859


  • Heather Louise McCartney (b. 1962), born Heather Louise See, an American potter and artist, daughter of Linda Eastman McCartney and adopted daughter of Paul McCartney
  • William Paul "Bill" McCartney (b. 1940), former American football player and coach and the founder of the Promise Keepers men's ministry, inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2013
  • Forrest S. McCartney (1931-2012), American USAF lieutenant general, director of the Kennedy Space Center (1986–1991)
  • Jesse McCartney (b. 1987), American Emmy nominated pop musician and actor
  • Joseph H. McCartney (1943-1992), American poet and artist
  • Willie McCartney (d. 1948), Scottish football referee and manager
  • William Raymond "Billy" McCartney (b. 1947), Scottish former footballer
  • John McCartney (1870-1942), Scottish footballer who played at half-back for Liverpool
  • William McCartney (b. 1900), Scottish footballer ho played in the early 1900s
  • William John McCartney (1866-1933), Scottish footballer and football manager



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: Stimulat sed ornat
Motto Translation: It stimulates, but it adorns.


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  1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  3. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  4. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  11. ...

The McCartney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McCartney 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 27 November 2015 at 20:47.

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