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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


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The surname McElwain 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 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.

Spelling variations of this family name include: MacIlvean, MacIlvane, MacIlvenna, MacIlwain, MacIlwaine and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McElwain research. Another 192 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1500 and 1546 are included under the topic Early McElwain History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the McElwain family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 236 words (17 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:

McElwain Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • John McElwain, who arrived in New York in 1795

McElwain Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Menassas McElwain, aged 33, landed in Mobile, Ala in 1853
  • H. G. McElwain, aged 28, who settled in America, in 1892
  • Rebecca McElwain, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1892
  • George M. McElwain, aged 38, who landed in America, in 1893
  • Cathr. McElwain, aged 17, who emigrated to America, in 1895


McElwain Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Susan McElwain, aged 23, who settled in America from Donegal, in 1905
  • James McElwain, aged 26, who settled in America from Monaghan, in 1905
  • Aaron McElwain, aged 23, who landed in America from Donegal, in 1905
  • William P. McElwain, aged 46, who emigrated to the United States, in 1907
  • Eda McElwain, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1908


McElwain Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • George McElwain landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • John McElwain landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • John McElwain, aged 24, a ploughman, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Parsee" in 1873

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  • John Allen McElwain (1794-1875), American politician, New York State Senator (1852-1853)
  • Jason McElwain (b. 1987), nicknamed "J-Mac," an American high-functioning autistic amateur athlete and public speaker, recipient of the ESPY Award for the Best Moment in Sports
  • Jim McElwain (b. 1962), American football coach who is currently the head coach of the Colorado State Rams
  • Annie McElwain, American actress
  • Frank Arthur McElwain (1875-1957), American bishop of Minnesota in the Episcopal Church
  • Wade Christian McElwain (b. 1972), Canadian comedian, writer, and TV producer


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  1. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  2. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  8. 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.
  9. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The McElwain Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McElwain 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 2 November 2015 at 11:48.

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