McElwain History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the McElwain family

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.

Early History of the McElwain family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McElwain research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1500 and 1546 are included under the topic Early McElwain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McElwain Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the McElwain family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the McElwain family to Ireland

Some of the McElwain family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 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 McElwain migration to the United States +

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 [1]
McElwain Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Menassas McElwain, aged 33, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1853 [1]
  • 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 immigrated to America, in 1895
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
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 immigrated to the United States, in 1907
  • Eda McElwain, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1908
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand McElwain migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McElwain Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George McELWAIN, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • John McELWAIN, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • John McElwain, aged 24, a ploughman, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Parsee" in 1873

Contemporary Notables of the name McElwain (post 1700) +

  • John A. McElwain, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Genesee County, 1837; Member of New York State Senate 30th District, 1852-53
  • Daniel C. McElwain, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 23rd District, 1904
  • 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


  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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