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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


On the Scottish west coast, the McHam family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. Their name comes from the given name Ian or John. John is the most common personal name in the Highlands. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Iain.

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The surname McHam 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, 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 Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

In various documents McHam has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. MacIan, MacAne, MacKane, MacKean, MacKain and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McHam research. Another 301 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1292, 1340, 1618, 1717, 1777, 1808, and 1875 are included under the topic Early McHam History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McHam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the McHam family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 178 words (13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Significant portions of the populations of both the United States and Canada are still made up of the ancestors of Dalriadan families. Some of those in Canada originally settled the United States, but went north as United Empire Loyalists in the American War of Independence. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the ancestors of many Scots on both sides of the border begin to recover their collective national heritage through Clan societies and highland games. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: John MacKane settled in Carolina in 1806; Alexander, John, Peter, Thomas MacKane all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860; James MacKean settled in Carolina in 1767.

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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  3. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  4. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  5. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  6. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  8. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  9. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The McHam Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McHam Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 27 October 2010 at 13:48.

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