Show ContentsMcKey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The McKey surname is derived from the Gaelic MacAoidh; "Aoidh" is Gaelic for fire, as well as the name of a pagan god.

Early Origins of the McKey family

The surname McKey was first found in Sutherland (Gaelic: Cataibh), a former county in northern Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Highland, 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.

Early History of the McKey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKey research. Another 276 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1408, 1411, 1429, 1329, 1506 and 1575 are included under the topic Early McKey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McKey Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: MacKay, MacCay, MacQuey, MacQuoid, MacKaw, MacKy, MacKye, MacCoy, McCoy and many more.

Early Notables of the McKey family (pre 1700)

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

McKey Ranking

In the United States, the name McKey is the 14,824th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

Ireland Migration of the McKey family to Ireland

Some of the McKey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States McKey migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McKey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Gervass McKey, who landed in Virginia in 1715 [2]
  • Alexander McKey, who arrived in North Carolina in 1740 [2]
McKey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James McKey, aged 36, who arrived in New York, NY in 1803 [2]
  • Patrick McKey, aged 38, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1803 [2]
  • John McKey, aged 52, who landed in Rhode Island in 1812 [2]
  • Thomas McKey, aged 26, who landed in Maryland in 1813 [2]
  • Ellen McKey, aged 17, who settled in America from Moylough, in 1897
McKey Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Annabella McKey, aged 26, who immigrated to America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1904
  • E.E. Mckey, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1905
  • David McKey, aged 23, who landed in America from Hilltown, Co. Down, in 1906
  • Laura M. McKey, aged 30, who immigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Helen McKey, aged 30, who immigrated to the United States, in 1908
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia McKey migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

McKey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Mckey, (McKay), Scottish convict who was convicted in Glasgow, Scotland for life, transported aboard the "Chapman" on 12th April 1826, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]
  • A. McKey, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Orleana" in 1839 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name McKey (post 1700) +

  • Derrick Wayne McKey (b. 1966), retired American NBA basketball player from Meridian, Mississippi
  • J. J. McKey, American politician, Member of Minnesota State House of Representatives 10th District, 1864 [5]
  • Willy Mckey (1980-2021), Venezuelan poet and writer

The McKey Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Manu forti
Motto Translation: With a strong hand.

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  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 28th January 2021, retreived from
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ORLEANA 1839. Retrieved from
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from on Facebook