McElrath History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name McElrath is a nickname for a young man with tanned skin or with tawny hair with darker streaks. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac 'Ille riabhaich, which means son of the brindled lad.

Early Origins of the McElrath family

The surname McElrath was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from very early times.

Early History of the McElrath family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McElrath research. Another 216 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1376, 1476, 1508 and 1526 are included under the topic Early McElrath History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McElrath 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. McElrath has appeared in various documents spelled Macilreach, McIlreach, MacIlreath, McIlreath, Macilriach, McIlriach, Macilraith, McIlraith, Macilaraith, McIlaraith, Macilarith, McIlarith, Macilwraith, McIlwraith, Macilwraithe, McIlwraithe, MacIlwrathe, McIlwrathe, MacKilwrath, McKilwrath, MacKilwrathe, McKilwrathe, Macgfillreich, McFillreich, Macileriach, McIleriach, Macillrich, McIllrich, Macilurick, McIlurick, Macilwrick, McIlwrick, MacIlwrith, McIlwrith, MacIlrevie, McIlrevie, MacKilreve, McKilreve, MacKilrea, McKilrea, MacElrath, McElrath, MacElreath, McElreath, McElvrick, MacElvrick, McIllrie, MacIllrie, MacAlwraith, McAlwraith, Revie, McRevie and many more.

Early Notables of the McElrath family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the McElrath family to Ireland

Some of the McElrath family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McElrath migration to the United States +

Significant portions of the populations of both the United States and Canada are still made up of the ancestors of Dalriadan families. Some of those in Canada originally settled the United States, but went north as United Empire Loyalists in the American War of Independence. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the ancestors of many Scots on both sides of the border begin to recover their collective national heritage through Clan societies and highland games. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

McElrath Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John McElrath, who arrived in America in 1817 [1]
  • William McElrath, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1817 [1]
  • A McElrath, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name McElrath (post 1700) +

  • Thomas McElrath, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County, 1839
  • Percy McElrath, American politician, U.S. Consul in Turin, 1898
  • Susan McElrath, American Adjunct Professorial Lecturer in the Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences, American University, Washington
  • Dr. Eileen McElrath Ph.D., American Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Studies at Texas Woman's University


The McElrath 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. ^ 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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