Show ContentsMcElheny History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The sea-swept Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland, made up the ancient Dalriadan kingdom, the ancestral home of the McElheny family. Their name comes from the Gaelic expression "the son of the servant Storm."

Early Origins of the McElheny family

The surname McElheny was first found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where they held a family seat from early times.

One of the first records of the family was "Celestine Mac Alowne [who] received a grant of Balemakinrain (now Ballikinrain) in the earldom of Lennox from his kinsman Donald, earl of Lennox, c. 1333-1364. John Macalowne [appeared on an] inquest at Nam in 1431. " [1]

Early History of the McElheny family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McElheny research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1428 and 1890 are included under the topic Early McElheny History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McElheny Spelling Variations

Many spelling variations of McElheny have been recorded over the years, including These are the result of the medieval practice of spelling according to sound and repeated translation between Gaelic and English. MacAloney, McAloney, MacAlonie, McAlonie, MacIlhenny, McIlhenny, MacIlhinny, McIlhinny, MacIlhiney, McIlhiney, MacIlhinney, McIlhinney, MacIldowney, McIldowney, MacIldownie, McIldownie, MacGilloney, McGilloney, MacGillonie, McGillonie, MacAlloon, McAlloon, MacAlooni, McAlooni, MacElheaney, McElheaney, MacElhiney, McElhiney, MacElhinney and many more.

Early Notables of the McElheny family

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

Ireland Migration of the McElheny family to Ireland

Some of the McElheny family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 100 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Canada McElheny migration to Canada +

Many who arrived from Scotland settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would go on to become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many settlers who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Their descendants later began to recover the lost Scottish heritage through events such as the highland games that dot North America in the summer months. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the McElheny family emigrate to North America:

McElheny Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • George McElheny, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • Mary McElheny, aged 16, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833

Contemporary Notables of the name McElheny (post 1700) +

  • Karesa McElheny (b. 1957), American actress and production designer from Kansas City, Missouri, known for Legion (2017), Pretty Little Liars (2010) and Western Noir (2017)
  • Meghan McElheny (b. 1978), American director and writer, known for Freedom Writers (2007), Tuftsablanca (1999) and Roger Dodger (2002)
  • Katie McElheny, American actress, known for her work on Mow Crew (2009)
  • Victor King McElheny (b. 1935), American science writer and journalist
  • Josiah McElheny (b. 1966), American artist and sculptor, best known for his glass blowing and mirrored glassed objects

The McElheny 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: Aonaibh ri cheile
Motto Translation: Unite.

  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) on Facebook