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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


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. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  8. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  9. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  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 8 January 2015 at 12:49.

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