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McIlduff History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



McIlduff comes from the ancient Dalriadan clans of Scotland's west coast and Hebrides islands. The name comes from an old Gaelic personal name. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Dhuibh.

Early Origins of the McIlduff family


The surname McIlduff was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland. MacDuff, the Thane of Fife, portrayed by Shakespeare as the rival of Macbeth, was a myth created by medieval writers.

However, the first Earl of the name, Gillemichel, did emerge by the time of King David I, and he and his descendants had privileges including the right to crown the King of Scotland and to lead the Scottish army.

The MacDuff family traditionally crowned each monarch. But, they were opposed to Robert the Bruce, who gained the throne in 1306. Duncan MacDuff, the Earl of Fife's sister was sent to perform the task. Isabella MacDuff, Countess of Buchan (died c. 1314), sister of Duncan, Earl of Fife did crown Robert the Bruce in March 1306, much to her chagrin. Bruce was defeated at the Battle of Methven in June 1306, so he sent Isabella and other female relatives but they were betrayed Uilleam II, Earl of Ross. Edward I ordered her to be sent to Berwick-upon-Tweed to be caged as a public spectacle. She was caged for four years and is presumed to have died in captivity.

Lord Macduff, the Thane of Fife, is a character in William Shakespeare's Macbeth. The character kills Macbeth in the final act. It is generally thought that Shakespeare drew the character from the Holinshed's Chronicles (1587.)


Early History of the McIlduff family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McIlduff research.
Another 251 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1353, 1759, 1296, 1358, 1725 and 1889 are included under the topic Early McIlduff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McIlduff Spelling Variations


The translation of Gaelic names in the Middle Ages was not a task undertaken with great care. Records from that era show an enormous number of spelling variations, even in names referring to the same person. Over the years McIlduff has appeared as MacDuff, McDuff, MacDhuibh (Gaelic) and others.

Early Notables of the McIlduff family (pre 1700)


Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Isobel Macduff (1296-1358), the Countess of Buchan, best known for when she left her husband, the Earl of Buchan and stole his warhorses; William Duff of Braco...
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McIlduff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McIlduff family to Ireland


Some of the McIlduff family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 54 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McIlduff family to the New World and Oceana


Many of the ancestors of Dalriadan families who arrived in North America still live in communities along the east coast of Canada and the United States. In the American War of Independence many of the original settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the ancestors of many Scots began recovering their collective national heritage through Clan societies, highland games, and other patriotic events. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name McIlduff or a variant listed above: James MacDuff, who settled in Maryland in 1747; John MacDuff settled in Virginia in 1772.

Contemporary Notables of the name McIlduff (post 1700)


  • Brendan McIlduff (b. 1980), Irish actor, known for The Black Stuff
  • John McIlduff, Irish writer and director, known for Behold the Lamb (2011), À l'arrière (2005) and To Do List (2010)
  • Gerry Mcilduff, Irish musician, former member of The Pretenders
  • Francis McIlduff, Irish musician, member of At First Light, an Irish Celtic music group

The McIlduff 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: Deus juvat
Motto Translation: God assists.


McIlduff Family Crest Products



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