McGilton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Scotland's coastal mountains and Hebrides islands were known in ancient times as the kingdom of Dalriada. The name McGilton evolved there as a nickname for a person noted as possessing great wisdom, or an elderly person. The surname is derived from the Irish Gaelic name O Seanain, which comes from the word sean, which has the double meaning of old and wise.

Early Origins of the McGilton family

The surname McGilton was first found in Kintyre, 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 Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the McGilton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGilton research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the year 1548 is included under the topic Early McGilton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McGilton Spelling Variations

Spelling in the medieval era was a highly imprecise process. Translation, particularly from Gaelic to English, was little better. For these reasons, early Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. In various documents McGilton has been spelled Shannon, Shennan, Shennane and others.

Early Notables of the McGilton family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the McGilton family to Ireland

Some of the McGilton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McGilton migration to the United States +

Many settled along the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. As the American War of Independence broke out, those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these hardy Dalriadan-Scottish settlers began to recover their collective history in the 20th century with the advent of the vibrant culture fostered by highland games and Clan societies in North America. Highland games, clan societies, and other organizations generated much renewed interest in Scottish heritage in the 20th century. The McGilton were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown:

McGilton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William McGilton, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1835 [1]

Australia McGilton migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

McGilton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Hugh McGilton, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Alice Brooks" in 1839 [2]
  • Mary McGilton, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Alice Brooks" in 1839 [2]
  • John McGilton, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Alice Brooks" in 1839 [2]
  • Eleanore McGilton, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Alice Brooks" in 1839 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name McGilton (post 1700) +

  • Edmund George McGilton (1858-1933), American politician, Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska (1903–1907)
  • Phillip McGilton (b. 1978), American professional stock car racing driver and businessman, founder of PJM Enterprises in 2002
  • Mac McGilton (1908-1909), Canadian trainer for the Ottawa Hockey Club, Assistant trainer (1902-1903)


The McGilton 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: Virtute Duce
Motto Translation: With virtue for guide.


  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)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ALICE BROOKS 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839AliceBrooks.gif


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