McGilliveray is an ancient Pictish-Scottish name. It is derived from a personal name
meaning servant of judgement.
The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Gillebhrath.
Early Origins of the McGilliveray family
The surname McGilliveray was 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
, but this family seat
was later moved to Iona
with the advent of St. Columba. From this original descendancy came Giolla Brighid, known also as Gillibride, or Gillivray. Gillivray's son, Somerled, the 8th and greatest Thane of Argyll, Lord of Kintyre
, and founder of the 'Kingdom of the Isles' was instrumental in driving out the invading Norse (Vikings) from his Kingdom, commencing in 1140 AD. However, Somerled, still gave allegiance to the King of Vikings
which continued until 1222, long after Somerled's death in 1164 AD. At this time, Alexander II of Scotland
routed many of the Clans 'of the Isles', leaving them eastern Scotland
in an area from Glasgow north to Inverness to the East Coast. The MacGillivrays were moved northwards to Lochabe. They became closely associated with their neighbors, the McInnises, the McMasters, and the MacEacherns. They also joined the great Pictish confederacy of Clans known as the Clan
Chattan, an association of some twenty six Clans, during the time of Ferquhard, 5th Chief of the MacKintosh, and Chief of the Clan
Early History of the McGilliveray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGilliveray research.Another 653 words (47 lines of text) covering the years 1467, 1535, 1542, 1550, 1688, 15 a, 1745 and 1822 are included under the topic Early McGilliveray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McGilliveray Spelling Variations
Translation has done much to alter the appearance of many Scottish names. It was a haphazard process that lacked a basic system of rules. Spelling variations
were a common result of this process. McGilliveray has appeared MacGillivray, MacGillivery, MacGillivary, MacGillivry, MacIlvray, MacIlvrae, MacIlwrach, MacIlwray, MacGivery, MacGivray, McGillivrae and many more.
Early Notables of the McGilliveray family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan
at this time was MacGillivray of Dunmaglass. The Hon. William McGillivray, son of Donald McGillivray of Dalscoilte, near Dunmaglass, was the head of the NorthWest Company fur trading... Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGilliveray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McGilliveray family to the New World and Oceana
Many Scots left their country to travel to the North American colonies in search of the freedom they could not find at home. Of those who survived the difficult voyage, many found the freedom they so desired. There they could choose their own beliefs and allegiances. Some became United Empire Loyalists and others fought in the American War of Independence
. The Clan
societies and highland games that have sprung up in the last century have allowed many of these disparate Scots to recover their collective national identity. A search of immigration and passenger ship lists revealed many early settlers bearing the McGilliveray name: Alexander, Donald, Fargus, James, John, Loughlin, Owen, and William MacGillivray, who all arrived in South Carolina in 1716; Donald McGillivray, who settled in Ontario in 1794.