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...
Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McColley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McColley family to Ireland
Some of the McColley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McColley migration to the United States +
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
- Alexander McColley, who arrived in New England in 1740 
McColley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- James McColley, aged 19, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1804 
- Daniel McColley, aged 18, who landed in Maine in 1812 
- Patrick McColley, aged 18, who landed in Maine in 1812 
- Robert McColley, aged 25, who arrived in Maryland in 1813 
- John McColley, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
McColley migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
McColley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- James McColley, aged 30, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Ambassador" in 1834
- Mary McColley, aged 30, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Ambassador" in 1834
- Jane McColley, aged 3, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Ambassador" in 1834
- Ann McColley, aged 2, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Ambassador" in 1834
Contemporary Notables of the name McColley (post 1700) +
- Moley McColley, American animator, best known for her work in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (1985), Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown and Shinbone Alley (1971)
- Trustan P. McColley, American builder and founder of McColley's Chapel, Delaware, the oldest Methodist church in Georgetown hundred, listed on the National Register of Historic Places
- Patrick McColley, American actor, known for his work in Sad Sack Sally (2009) and Stuck Like Chuck (2009)
- Kevin McColley, American author
Related Stories +
The McColley 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: Dulce Periculum
Motto Translation: Danger is sweet
- ^ 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)