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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish McElheny family come from? What is the Scottish McElheny family crest and coat of arms? When did the McElheny family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McElheny family history?

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."

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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.

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 and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McElheny research. Another 227 words(16 lines of text) covering the year 1428 is included under the topic Early McElheny History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the McElheny family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 198 words(14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McElheny Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • George McElheny, aged 24, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • Mary McElheny, aged 16, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833

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  • Josiah McElheny (b. 1966), American artist and sculptor, best known for his glass blowing and and mirrored glassed objects


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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.

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  1. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  5. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  6. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  11. ...

The McElheny Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McElheny Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 21 March 2015 at 10:09.

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