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

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

In ancient Scotland, the ancestors of the name McIlrath lived in the Kingdom of Dalriada. In those days the name McIlrath was used to indicate a person who young man with tanned skin or with tawny hair with darker streaks. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac 'Ille riabhaich, which means son of the brindled lad.


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 McIlrath has appeared as Macilreach, McIlreach, MacIlreath, McIlreath, Macilriach, McIlriach, Macilraith, McIlraith, Macilaraith, McIlaraith, Macilarith, McIlarith, Macilwraith, McIlwraith, Macilwraithe, McIlwraithe, MacIlwrathe, McIlwrathe, MacKilwrath, McKilwrath, MacKilwrathe, McKilwrathe, Macgfillreich, McFillreich, Macileriach, McIleriach, Macillrich, McIllrich, Macilurick, McIlurick, Macilwrick, McIlwrick, MacIlwrith, McIlwrith, MacIlrevie, McIlrevie, MacKilreve, McKilreve, MacKilrea, McKilrea, MacElrath, McElrath, MacElreath, McElreath, McElvrick, MacElvrick, McIllrie, MacIllrie, MacAlwraith, McAlwraith, Revie, McRevie and many more.

First found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from very early times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McIlrath research. Another 431 words(31 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1376, 1476, 1508 and 1526 are included under the topic Early McIlrath History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the McIlrath family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 53 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name McIlrath or a variant listed above include:

McIlrath Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John McIlrath, aged 45, who landed in America, in 1895

McIlrath Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Edward McIlrath, aged 3, who landed in America from Liverpool England, in 1906
  • Elizabeth McIlrath, aged 32, who settled in America from Liverpool England, in 1906
  • Francis McIlrath, aged 8, who landed in America from Liverpool England, in 1906
  • Grace McIlrath, aged 23, who emigrated to the United States from Antrim, Ireland, in 1907
  • Andrew McIlrath, aged 44, who emigrated to the United States from Portglenone, Ireland, in 1911


  • Timothy "Tim" James McIlrath (b. 1979), American rock musician
  • Dylan McIlrath (b. 1992), Canadian ice hockey defenceman


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: Per mare per terras
Motto Translation: By sea and by land.


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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  4. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  6. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  7. 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.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  10. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  11. ...

The McIlrath Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McIlrath 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 3 August 2014 at 10:07.

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