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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

Where did the Scottish McIlhenny family come from? What is the Scottish McIlhenny family crest and coat of arms? When did the McIlhenny family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McIlhenny family history?

In the mountains of Scotland's west coast and on the Hebrides islands, the ancestors of the McIlhenny family were born. Their name comes from the Gaelic expression "the son of the servant Storm."


Spelling variations are a very common occurrence in records of early Scottish names. They result from the repeated and inaccurate translations that many names went through in the course of various English occupations of Scotland. McIlhenny has been spelled MacAloney, McAloney, MacAlonie, McAlonie, MacIlhenny, McIlhenny, MacIlhinny, McIlhinny, MacIlhiney, McIlhiney, MacIlhinney, McIlhinney, MacIldowney, McIldowney, MacIldownie, McIldownie, MacGilloney, McGilloney, MacGillonie, McGillonie, MacAlloon, McAlloon, MacAlooni, McAlooni, MacElheaney, McElheaney, MacElhiney, McElhiney, MacElhinney and many more.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McIlhenny research. Another 227 words (16 lines of text) covering the year 1428 is included under the topic Early McIlhenny History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early McIlhenny Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the McIlhenny family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 198 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McIlhenny Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Thomas McIlhenny, aged 19, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833

McIlhenny Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Catherine McIlhenny, Scottish convict from Glasgow, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on December 14, 1835, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila


  • Samuel A. McIlhenny Jr., American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Santiago, 1932; Valparaiso, 1938-40
  • John Avery McIlhenny (1867-1942), American Democrat politician, Member of Louisiana State House of Representatives, 1900-04; Member of Louisiana State Senate, 1904-06; Member, U.S. Civil Service Commission, 1906-19
  • Francis S. McIlhenny, American Republican politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 6th District, 1907-14


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: Aonaibh ri cheile
Motto Translation: Unite.


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  1. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  2. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  7. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The McIlhenny Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McIlhenny 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 10 November 2015 at 11:12.

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