The western coast of Scotland
and the desolate Hebrides
islands are the ancient home of the McGilay family. Their name is derived from a devotion to Christianity.
The Gaelic form of the name is M'A'Lios,
which is a shortened form of Mac Giolla Iosa,
meaning son of the servant of Jesus.
Early Origins of the McGilay family
The surname McGilay was first found in Perthshire
(Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland
, where they held a family seat
from early times and their first records appeared on the early rolls taken by the Kings of England
Early History of the McGilay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGilay research.Another 195 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGilay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McGilay 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. McGilay has appeared in various documents spelled MacLeish, MacCleish, MacLise, MacLish, MacGillies, MacGleish, MacGillis, MacLeash and many more.
Early Notables of the McGilay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early McGilay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McGilay family to the New World and Oceana
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 McGilay or a variant listed above include: Anne McLeish settled in Pennsylvania in 1833; George and Catherine McGillis settled in Pennsylvania in 1773.