McKelvy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

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

Early Origins of the McKelvy family

The surname McKelvy 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.

Important Dates for the McKelvy family

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

McKelvy Spelling Variations

People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname McKelvy that are preserved in archival documents are McEvoy, Evoy, McGilloway, McVeagh, McVeigh, McAvoy, McElwee, McElwy and many more.

Early Notables of the McKelvy family (pre 1700)

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

McKelvy migration to the United States

In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the McKelvy family came to North America quite early:

McKelvy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Edward McKelvy, aged 35, who landed in New York, NY in 1803 [1]
  • John McKelvy, aged 27, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Michael McKelvy, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1847 [1]
  • Patrick McKelvy, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1847 [1]
  • Thomas McKelvy, who arrived in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1849 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

McKelvy migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McKelvy Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James McKelvy, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Robert Burns" in 1834

McKelvy 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:

McKelvy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Mckelvy, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name McKelvy (post 1700)

  • William Nessler McKelvy Sr. (1869-1933), American United States Marine Corps officer, recipient of the Marine Corps Brevet Medal
  • Frank R. McKelvy (1914-1980), American seven-time Academy Award nominated set decorator
  • Russell Errett McKelvy (1854-1915), American Major League Baseball center fielder

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Citations

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
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