McCoull History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The western coast of Scotland and the desolate Hebrides islands are the ancient home of the McCoull family. Their name is derived from the personal name Somhairle, also known as Somerled. The Gaelic form of the name, Mac Somhairle, translates as son of Somhairle or son of Somerled.

Early Origins of the McCoull family

The surname McCoull was first found in Argyllshire where the Gaelic MacSomhairle 'son of Somhairle, ' or Somerled, Alexander M'Sommarrli was cited in 1355 to give evidence regarding the lands of Glassrie. "He was probably a Lamont of Monydrain in Glassrie as some of this family used the name Macsorley for several generations, but eventually resumed the name Lamont. The lands of Donald Machorle in the sheriffdom of Argyll were in ward, 1488. Other spellings of this Donald's name are McChorle, 1449, and McCowirlee, 1451. In 1511 Angus Lawmont alias M'Quorle was infeft in the three merk lands of Achynchoys. " [1]

"The MacSoirles of Letterfinlay in Lochaber, later called a sept of Clan Cameron, descended from Somerled, armiger to John of Yla, earl of Ross and lord of the Isles. In 1456 Somerled, the son of John, son of Somerled the armiger, received from the lord of the Isles a davoch of the lands of Glennyves along with the office of toscheachdeora (crowner) of all the lands of John of Yla, except the lands pertaining to his foster-child, Lachlan Maclean of Doward. Some writers on Clan history make the Macsorleys a sept of Clan Cameron, but this Somerled had received his charter thirty six years before the Camerons of Lochiel are known to have had any connection with the district." [1]

Early History of the McCoull family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCoull research. Another 312 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1524, 1571, 1577, 1603, 1616, 1647, 1649, 1672, 1675, 1716, 1563, 1530, 1632, 1647, 1672, 1577, 1577, 1211, 1258, 1600, 1571, 1664, 1795, 1615, 1850 and are included under the topic Early McCoull History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McCoull Spelling Variations

Spelling variations were extremely common in medieval names, since scribes from that era recorded names according to sound rather than a standard set of rules. McCoull has appeared in various documents spelled MacSorley, MacSorely, MacSourly, MacCoullie, MacSorrill, MacSorrell, MacSurley and many more.

Early Notables of the McCoull family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the McCoull family to Ireland

Some of the McCoull family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 270 words (19 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McCoull migration to the United States +

The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name McCoull or a variant listed above include:

McCoull Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John McCoull, who arrived in Virginia in 1810 [2]


The McCoull 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: Per mare per terras
Motto Translation: By sea and by land.


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ 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)


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