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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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  • Danica Mae McKellar (b. 1975), American actress, author, and education advocate
  • Kenneth Douglas McKellar (1869-1957), American politician from Tennessee
  • Crystal Dawn Scripps McKellar (b. 1976), American attorney and former child actress
  • Kenneth McKellar (1927-2010), Scottish tenor
  • 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
  • Craig McKellar (b. 1949), former Australian rules footballer
  • Don McKellar (b. 1963), Canadian Drama Desk Award winning actor, writer, and filmmaker from Toronto
  • Phil McKellar, Australian record producer
  • Archibald McKellar (1816-1894), Scottish-born, Canadian politician, Leader of Canada 's Ontario Liberal Party from 1867 to 1868
  • Malcolm Earl McKellar (1918-1976), politician in Manitoba, Canada

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  1. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  2. 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.
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  8. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. 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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