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McElduff History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the McElduff family. Their name comes from an old Gaelic personal name. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Dhuibh.

Early Origins of the McElduff family

The surname McElduff was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland. MacDuff, the Thane of Fife, portrayed by Shakespeare as the rival of Macbeth, was a myth created by medieval writers.

However, the first Earl of the name, Gillemichel, did emerge by the time of King David I, and he and his descendants had privileges including the right to crown the King of Scotland and to lead the Scottish army.

The MacDuff family traditionally crowned each monarch. But, they were opposed to Robert the Bruce, who gained the throne in 1306. Duncan MacDuff, the Earl of Fife's sister was sent to perform the task. Isabella MacDuff, Countess of Buchan (died c. 1314), sister of Duncan, Earl of Fife did crown Robert the Bruce in March 1306, much to her chagrin. Bruce was defeated at the Battle of Methven in June 1306, so he sent Isabella and other female relatives but they were betrayed Uilleam II, Earl of Ross. Edward I ordered her to be sent to Berwick-upon-Tweed to be caged as a public spectacle. She was caged for four years and is presumed to have died in captivity.

Lord Macduff, the Thane of Fife, is a character in William Shakespeare's Macbeth. The character kills Macbeth in the final act. It is generally thought that Shakespeare drew the character from the Holinshed's Chronicles (1587.)

Early History of the McElduff family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McElduff research.
Another 251 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1353, 1759, 1296, 1358, 1725 and 1889 are included under the topic Early McElduff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McElduff Spelling Variations

Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. McElduff has been written as MacDuff, McDuff, MacDhuibh (Gaelic) and others.

Early Notables of the McElduff family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Isobel Macduff (1296-1358), the Countess of Buchan, best known for when she left her husband, the Earl of Buchan and stole his warhorses; William Duff of Braco...
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McElduff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McElduff family to Ireland

Some of the McElduff family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 54 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McElduff family to the New World and Oceana

Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name McElduff or a variant listed above: James MacDuff, who settled in Maryland in 1747; John MacDuff settled in Virginia in 1772.

Contemporary Notables of the name McElduff (post 1700)

  • John McElduff (1759-1799), birth name of John Duff, American counterfeiter, hunter, scout, and soldier who assisted in George Rogers Clark's campaign to capture the Illinois country
  • Barry McElduff (b. 1966), Irish politician

The McElduff 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: Deus juvat
Motto Translation: God assists.

McElduff Family Crest Products

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