McIlwee History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish surname McIlwee originally appeared in Gaelic as "Mac Fhiodhbhuidhe," which is probably derived from the word "fiodhbhadhach," referring to "a woodman."

Early Origins of the McIlwee family

The surname McIlwee was first found in Wexford (Irish: Loch Garman), founded by Vikings as Waesfjord, and located in Southeastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the McIlwee family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McIlwee research. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1100 and 1563 are included under the topic Early McIlwee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McIlwee Spelling Variations

Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name McIlwee dating from that time include McEvoy, Evoy, McGilloway, McVeagh, McVeigh, McAvoy, McElwee, McElwy and many more.

Early Notables of the McIlwee family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the McIlwee family

During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the McIlwee family in North America: James McKelvey, who arrived in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1767; David McKelvey, who was naturalized in South Carolina in 1805; Hugh McKelvey, who was naturalized in Allegheny Co., PA in 1807.

Contemporary Notables of the name McIlwee (post 1700) +

  • Adam McIlwee, American musician, former member of Tigers Jaw (2006–2012)
  • John McIlwee, American co-owner of the Garcia House (also known as The Rainbow House), a private home in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles used for films and commercials on Facebook
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