McIlhenny History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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."

Early Origins of the McIlhenny family

The surname McIlhenny 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.

Early History of the McIlhenny family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McIlhenny research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the year 1428 is included under the topic Early McIlhenny History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McIlhenny Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the McIlhenny family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the McIlhenny family to Ireland

Some of the McIlhenny family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 100 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Canada McIlhenny migration to Canada +

Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence, many Scots who remained loyal to England re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first McIlhennys to arrive on North American shores:

McIlhenny Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas McIlhenny, aged 19, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833

Australia McIlhenny migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

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, Australia [1]
  • Mr. James McIlhenny, British Convict who was convicted in Glasgow, Scotland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 5th November 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land)1836 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name McIlhenny (post 1700) +

  • Samuel A. McIlhenny Jr., American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Santiago, 1932; Valparaiso, 1938-40 [3]
  • 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 [3]
  • Francis S. McIlhenny, American Republican politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 6th District, 1907-14 [3]


The McIlhenny 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: Aonaibh ri cheile
Motto Translation: Unite.


  1. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1835 with 132 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1835
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1835
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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