McColley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Scottish/English Borderlands and their proud Boernician clans are the ancestral home of the McColley family. Their name is derived from the son of Amalghaidh, (an old Irish personal name). The distinguished name McColley is derived from the Gaelic name MacAmhalghaidh and was generally found in Dumbartonshire. Alternatively, the name could have come from the Gaelic name MacAmhlaibh or MacAmhaidh, which means son of Amlaib and in this case, the name was originally derived from the Norse King Olafr. This latter branch was generally found in the Hebrides.
Early Origins of the McColley family
The surname McColley was first found in at Ardencaple, in Dumbartonshire. Ardencaple "cape of the horses," was the ancestral home of the Lairds of Ardencaple and is located on the shores of the Gare Loch, in the historical district of Lennox, county Dumbarton. They were one of the Clans of MacAlpine.
The history of the MacAulay Clan is particularly complex as there are two distinct branches, in addition to an infusion of MacAulays during the reign of Robert the Bruce. The name of Aulay, brother of the Earl of Lennox, is found on the Ragman Rolls, which confirms his pledge of allegiance to King Edward I of England. This branch entered into a bond of manrent with MacGregor of Glenstrae in 1591.
The second branch of this Clan is that of the MacAulays of the Isle of Lewis. These Clansmen claimed descent from Aula (Olaf the Black), who was a thirteenth-century king of the Isles. Their lands were traditional centered around Uig. This branch was probably related to the numerous MacAulays of Ross and Sutherland.
Finally, some members of a branch of the MacAulay Clann from Ireland were invited by Robert the Bruce to Scotland to help in his wars against the English. These last MacAulays may be ancient relatives to those of Ardincaple, Dumbartonshire. It was some while later that the MacAulays were first recognized as a Clan.
Early History of the McColley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McColley research. Another 54 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1595 and 1767 are included under the topic Early McColley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McColley Spelling Variations
In the Middles Ages scribes spelled names by their sound. Often a name was written under a different spelling variation each time it was recorded. McColley has appeared as MacAuly, MacAwley, MacAuley, MacAullay, MacAulley, MacAwlay, MacCaulay, MacCawley, MacGawley, Magawley, Cauley, Caulay, McCamley and many more.
Early Notables of the McColley family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan from early times was the 'MacCawlis' who appear on the roll of Broken Clans in 1595. Their fortunes fell, the last of their lands of...
Migration of the McColley family to Ireland
Some of the McColley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
The ancestors of Boernician-Scottish settlers dot North America even today. They settled all along the east coast when they came over, but some went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the War of Independence. However, these strong lines endured as Scottish families in the United States and Canada have rediscovered much of the heritage that was taken from them centuries ago. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name McColley, or a variant listed above:
McColley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
McColley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
McColley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
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: Dulce Periculum
Motto Translation: Danger is sweet