McFeely History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The McFeely family finds its ancestral home among the rugged mountains and sea-swept Hebrides islands of Scotland's west coast. In that area, once known as the kingdom of Dalriada, McFeely evolved as a nickname for a dark-featured, peaceful person. The Gaelic name of the Clan is Mac Dubhshithe, which translates as black one of peace. One branch of the Clan on the island of North Uist was known as Dubh-sidh, meaning 'black fairy,' due to their whimsical association with the faerie folk.
Early Origins of the McFeely family
The surname McFeely was first found in on the Isle of Colonsay, where the eponymous ancestor of the Clan may be Dubhshith, also called Dubside, who was lector at the Cathedral on the sacred isle of Iona in 1164. As the name MacFee is one of the oldest of all Dalriadan surnames it appears in records as early as the reign of Alexander II, when Johannes Macdufthi was witness to a charter in Dumfriesshire. In 1296, Thomas Macdoffy swore an oath of allegiance to the king.
Early History of the McFeely family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McFeely research. Another 226 words (16 lines of text) covering the year 1838 is included under the topic Early McFeely History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McFeely Spelling Variations
In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. McFeely has appeared as MacFie, McFey, MacFee, MacDuffie, MacPhee, MacGuffie, MacCuffie, MacPhie, Maffie, Maffey, MacDubh-shithe (Gaelic) and many more.
Early Notables of the McFeely family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early McFeely Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McFeely family to Ireland
Some of the McFeely family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McFeely migration to the United States +
Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name McFeely or a variant listed above:
McFeely Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Cathy McFeely, aged 20, who landed in America from Donegal, in 1893
McFeely Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Charles McFeely, aged 24, who settled in America from Donegal, in 1902
- John McFeely, aged 22, who landed in America from Donegal, in 1902
- Sarah McFeely, aged 24, who settled in America from Donegal, in 1905
- Loughlin McFeely, aged 28, who immigrated to America from Donegal, in 1906
- C. A. McFeely, aged 56, who immigrated to the United States, in 1906
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
McFeely migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
McFeely Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- John McFeely, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
- Edward McFeely, aged 30, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Bartley" in 1833
- James McFeely, aged 30, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Bartley" in 1833
Contemporary Notables of the name McFeely (post 1700) +
- William S. McFeely (1930-2019), American Pulitzer Prize winning professor of history, recipient of the Lincoln Prize in 1991 and Avery O. Craven Award in 1992
- Stephen McFeely, American Primetime Emmy Award winning, two-time Hugo nominated screenwriter, best known for his work on Captain America: The First Avenger(2011) and The Chronicles of Narnia films (2005), (2008) and (2010)
- Willis McFeely, American politician, Village President of Oak Park, Illinois, 1925 
- Donald D. McFeely, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from Illinois 6th District, 1938 
- Bernard N. McFeely, American Democrat politician, Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, 1930-47; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1940, 1944 
Related Stories +
The McFeely 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: Pro Rege
Motto Translation: For the King.