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

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

The family name McChesney is believed to be descended originally from the Norman people. The Normans were commonly believed to be of French origin but were, more accurately, of Viking origin. The Vikings landed in the Orkneys and Northern Scotland about the year 870 AD, under their King, Stirgud the Stout. Later, under their Jarl, Thorfinn Rollo, they invaded France about 911 AD. The French King, Charles the Simple, after Rollo laid siege to Paris, finally conceded defeat and granted northern France to Rollo. Rollo became the first Duke of Normandy. Duke William, who invaded and defeated England in 1066, descended from the first Duke Rollo of Normandy.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Cheyney, Chainey, Chainie, Cheeney, Cheeny, Cheney, Cheyne and many more.

First found in Buckinghamshire, where William de Chesney (died 1161), an Anglo-Norman magnate during the reign of King Stephen of England was one of the first listed. He held Oxford Castle during King Stephen's reign. Robert de Chesney (died 1166), brother of William de Chesney was a medieval English Bishop of Lincoln. He was an early patron of Thomas Becket, and present during the coronation of King Henry II of England in 1154. He also served King Henry as a royal justice. William de Chesney (died 1174), another brother, was a medieval Anglo-Norman nobleman and Sheriff of Norfolk (c. 1146-1153), Suffolk (c. 1146-1153) and (1156-1163). He also founded Sibton Abbey.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McChesney research. Another 215 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1320, 1414, 1399, 1372, 1378, 1390, 1393, 1394, 1399, 1407, 1413, 1442, 1499, 1485, 1558, 1536, 1540, 1587, 1625, 1698, 1660, 1657, 1728, 1671 and 1743 are included under the topic Early McChesney History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 593 words(42 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McChesney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McChesney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Robert McChesney, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1835
  • John McChesney, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1836
  • George McChesney, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838
  • Charles McChesney, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840
  • James McChesney, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1855


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  • Bill McChesney Jr. (1959-1992), American long-distance runner
  • Robert Edward "Bob" McChesney (1912-1986), American NFL football end for the Boston/Washington Redskins 1936 to 1942
  • Robert Pearson McChesney (1913-2008), American artist
  • Robert Duncan McChesney (b. 1944), American scholar of the social and cultural history of Central Asia, Iran, and Afghanistan
  • Robert Waterman McChesney PhD (b. 1952), American professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Matthew "Matt" McChesney (b. 1981), American NFL football guard for the Denver Broncos (2009)
  • Mart McChesney (1954-1999), American actor and activist
  • Ernest McChesney (1912-1991), American tenor who had an active singing career in operas musicals, and concerts
  • Iain McChesney, Scottish former professional association footballer who played from 1960 to 1981
  • Michael McChesney (b. 1955), founding partner of Five Paces Ventures

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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: Fato prudentia major
Motto Translation: Prudence is greater than fate.

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  1. 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).
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  8. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  11. ...

The McChesney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McChesney 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 16 June 2014 at 09:43.

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