McChrystal History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name McChrystal comes from Christopher, an ancient and popular font name which has been common since the 12th century. [1] Another source claims the name was "derived from a geographical locality. 'of Cristall.' I cannot find the spot, but Yorkshire seems to have been the home of the surname." [2]

Early Origins of the McChrystal family

The surname McChrystal was first found in Yorkshire where one of the first records of the name was Robert de Cristall who was registered in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [2] Scotland was another homeland for the family and in this case, "it is certainly a diminutive or pet form of Christopher. The first form was an old surname in Foveran and it was not uncommon in Prestwick, Ayrshire, in the fifteenth century" [3]

Important Dates for the McChrystal family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McChrystal research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1470, 1474, 1491, 1567, 1650, 1672 and 1790 are included under the topic Early McChrystal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McChrystal Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name McChrystal has appeared include Chrystal, Cristall, Cristoll, Cristole, Cristell, Crystal, Crystall, MacCrystall, MacCristall and many more.

Early Notables of the McChrystal family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the McChrystal family

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name McChrystal arrived in North America very early: James Chrystal who arrived in Philadelphia in 1868.

Contemporary Notables of the name McChrystal (post 1700)

  • Herbert Joseph McChrystal (1924-2013), American Major General in the United States Army and father of Stanley A. McChrystal
  • Brigadier-General Arthur John McChrystal (1893-1980), American Executive Officer to the Military Attaché to Great Britain (1942-1943) [4]
  • Stanley A. McChrystal (b. 1954), American retired four-star general, recipient of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2013, February 12) Arthur McChrystal. Retrieved from
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