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

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

Among the the peoples of ancient Scotland, the first to use the name McKellar were the Strathclyde- Britons. McKellar was a name for someone who lived at Keilor, in Angus.

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Medieval Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. This is due to the fact that scribes in that era spelled according to the sound of words, rather than any set of rules. McKellar has been spelled Keller, Kellar, Keeler, Keilor, Keiler, Keillor, Keiller, Kelour, MacKeller and many more.

First found in Angus (Gaelic: Aonghas), part of the Tayside region of northeastern Scotland, and present day Council Area of Angus, formerly known as Forfar or Forfarshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKellar research. Another 249 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1476, 1383 and 1797 are included under the topic Early McKellar History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the McKellar family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 57 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many Scots were left with few options other than to leave their homeland for the colonies across the Atlantic. Some of these families fought to defend their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. Others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these families have recently been able to rediscover their roots through Clan societies and other Scottish organizations. Among them:

McKellar Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Archibald McKellar, who landed in New York, NY in 1738
  • Charles McKellar, who arrived in New York in 1738

McKellar Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John McKellar, who arrived in New York in 1841
  • Jean McKellar, who landed in New York in 1855
  • Angus McKellar, aged 24, landed in New York in 1864

McKellar Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Donald McKellar arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Rajasthan" in 1838
  • Catherine McKellar arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Lilford" in 1839
  • Donald McKellar arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Lilford" in 1839
  • Georgiana McKellar arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Lilford" in 1839
  • Harriett McKellar arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Lilford" in 1839


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  • Crystal Dawn Scripps McKellar (b. 1976), American attorney and former child actress
  • Kenneth Douglas McKellar (1869-1957), American politician from Tennessee
  • Danica Mae McKellar (b. 1975), American actress, author, and education advocate
  • Squadron Leader Archibald Ashmore "Archie" McKellar DSO DFC & Bar (1912-1940), Scottish flying ace in the Royal Air Force (RAF) credited with 22 aerial victories, killed in action
  • Kenneth McKellar (1927-2010), Scottish tenor
  • Gerald Colin McKellar (1903-1970), Australian politician, Senator for New South Wales (1958-1970)
  • Andrew McKellar (1910-1960), Canadian astronomer
  • John McKellar (1833-1900), businessman and political figure in Ontario, Canada
  • Malcolm Earl McKellar (1918-1976), politician in Manitoba, Canada
  • Archibald McKellar (1816-1894), Scottish-born, Canadian politician, Leader of Canada 's Ontario Liberal Party from 1867 to 1868

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  1. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. 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. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. 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.
  10. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  11. ...

The McKellar Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McKellar 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 17 November 2014 at 15:27.

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