McHaig History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic form of McHaig was Mac Taidh or O Taidhg.

Early Origins of the McHaig family

The surname McHaig was first found in County Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the McHaig family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McHaig research. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1583, 1493, 1589, 1772 and 1810 are included under the topic Early McHaig History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McHaig Spelling Variations

The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period because the general population had to rely on local official's understanding of how their name should be spelt, hence spellings in records often changed through a person's lifetime. The following variations for the name McHaig were encountered in the archives: MacTeige, McTeige, MacTigue, McTigue, MacCaig, MacCaige, McCaig, McCaige, MacKaig, McKaig, MacKeague, McKeague, McKeage, MacTague and many more.

Early Notables of the McHaig family (pre 1700)

Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McHaig Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McHaig migration to the United States +

Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name McHaig to North America:

McHaig Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John McHaig, who landed in America in 1805 [1]
  • William McHaig, aged 22, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1822 [1]

New Zealand McHaig migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McHaig Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Alexander McHaig, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ulcoats" in 1864
  • Marion McHaig, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ulcoats" in 1864


The McHaig 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: Summum nec metuam diem nec optem
Motto Translation: May I neither dread nor desire the last day.


  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)


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