McKelvie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the McKelvie family

The surname McKelvie 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 McKelvie family

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

McKelvie Spelling Variations

Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the McKelvie family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including McEvoy, Evoy, McGilloway, McVeagh, McVeigh, McAvoy, McElwee, McElwy and many more.

Early Notables of the McKelvie family (pre 1700)

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


United States McKelvie migration to the United States +

To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name McKelvie or a variant listed above, including:

McKelvie Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Flora McKelvie, aged 26, who landed in America from Corrie, in 1906
  • James McKelvie, aged 6, who settled in America from Dundee, Scotland, in 1908
  • Charles McKelvie, aged 1, who immigrated to the United States from Dundee, Scotland, in 1908
  • Andrew McKelvie, aged 18, who landed in America from Galashiels, Scotland, in 1910
  • Elizabeth McKelvie, aged 45, who immigrated to the United States, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand McKelvie migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McKelvie Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Alex Paterson McKELVIE, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840

Contemporary Notables of the name McKelvie (post 1700) +

  • Chris McKelvie (b. 1985), American professional ice hockey player
  • Zach McKelvie (b. 1985), American professional ice hockey defenseman
  • Roderick R. McKelvie (b. 1946), former United States federal judge
  • Samuel Roy McKelvie (1881-1956), American Nebraska Republican politician
  • Mrs. Jacqueline Robertson McKelvie M.B.E., British Vice-Chairperson for Oak Tree Housing Association, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for voluntary service to Social Housing in Inverclyde [1]
  • Susan McKelvie (b. 1985), Scottish female hammer thrower
  • Robert Douglas McKelvie (1912-1996), English cricketer
  • Daniel "Danny" McKelvie, Scottish professional rugby league footballer
  • Ian McKelvie, New Zealand politician and a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives
  • Red McKelvie, New Zealand singer-songwriter-instrumentalist and session musician
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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