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

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

The McEwan family history stretches back to the clans of the Dalriadan kingdom on the sea-swept Hebrides islands and mountainous western coast of Scotland. The name McEwan is derived from the personal name Ewen. The Gaelic form of the name was Mac Eoghainn.


Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. McEwan has been written as MacEwen, MacEwan, MacEwing, MacEuen, MacKewin, MacKewan, MacEňghainn (Gaelic) 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 were first found in the barony of Otter, on the shores of Loch Fyne. The eponymous ancestor of the Clan is reputed to be Eoghain na h-Oitrich, also known as 'Ewen of Otter', who lived at the beginning of the 12th century. Clear records of the Clan were found in 1219, when Gilpatrik Mac Ewen measured the borders of his lands in Kynblathmund.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McEwan research. Another 258 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1174 and 1219 are included under the topic Early McEwan History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name McEwan or a variant listed above include:

McEwan Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Duncan McEwan, who arrived in New Jersey in 1685

McEwan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Elizabeth McEwan, aged 19, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • Janet McEwan, aged 21, arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • Christian McEwan, aged 60, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • Charles McEwan, who landed in New York in 1807
  • John McEwan, who landed in New York in 1807

McEwan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • John McEwan, aged 19, a labourer, arrived in Saint John NB aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815
  • Wm McEwan, who landed in Canada in 1821
  • J McEwan, who landed in Victoria, British Columbia in 1862

McEwan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Robert McEwan arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Glenswilly" in 1839
  • Mary McEwan, Scottish convict from Glasgow, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on October 4, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • George McEwan, aged 30, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Macedon"
  • Barbara McEwan, aged 28, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "North"

McEwan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • J. McEwan arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Belle Creole" in 1853
  • Donald McEwan arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Black Eagle" in 1861
  • Joseph McEwan, aged 30, a quarrier, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Helenslee" in 1864
  • Mary A. McEwan, aged 27, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Chile" in 1874
  • Edward McEwan, aged 25, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Soukar" in 1874


  • John James "Cap" McEwan (1893-1970), American football player and coach
  • James McEwan (b. 1952), American slalom canoer
  • Stanley "Stan" McEwan (b. 1957), Scottish former professional footballer
  • Craig McEwan (b. 1977), Scottish footballer
  • William McEwan (1827-1913), Scottish politician and brewer
  • William Johnston McGowan "Billy" McEwan (b. 1951), former Scottish football player and now manager
  • David McEwan (b. 1982), Scottish footballer
  • Steve McEwan, British born hit songwriter, artist, and musician
  • Ian Russell McEwan (b. 1948), English novelist and screenwriter
  • Geraldine McEwan (b. 1932), English actor with a diverse history in theatre, film and television



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: Reviresco
Motto Translation: I grow green


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  1. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  2. 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.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  5. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  6. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  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. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  11. ...

The McEwan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McEwan 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 9 June 2015 at 21:22.

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