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

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

The McKillop family comes from the ancient Scottish Dalriadan clans of the mountainous west coast of Scotland. The name McKillop is derived from the personal name Philip, which is originally derived from the Greek personal name Philippos, which means horse-lover. The Gaelic form of the surname is Mac Fhilib, meaning son of Philip. The f is aspirated in the genitive case, causing it to disappear.


Translation in medieval times was an undeveloped science and was often carried out without due care. For this reason, many early Scottish names appeared radically altered when written in English. The spelling variations of McKillop include MacKillop, McKillop, MacGilp, McGilp, MacKillip, McKillip, MacGillip, McGillip, MacKillup, McKillup, Kellop, Kellops, Killop, Killup, Gilp, Gillip, Killip and many more.

First found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where they held a family seat at Brae Lochaber from ancient times being descended from an ancient chieftain of the MacDonnells of Keppoch who were, in turn, descended from the Lords of the Isles. It has been suggested that the MacKillops or MacGilps may be the sons of Ilpin or Gilpin, in Iam Lom's "Soiidh do'n Ghreumach.".


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKillop research. Another 259 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1433, 1437, 1526, 1532, and 1547 are included under the topic Early McKillop History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the McKillop family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 134 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


The hardy Scots who made the crossing settled all along the east coast of North America and in the great west that was just then opening up. At the time of the American War of Independence, many United Empire Loyalists moved north from the American colonies to Canada. Scottish national heritage became better known in North America in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic events. An examination of immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name McKillop arrived in North America very early:

McKillop Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John McKillop arrived in Boston Massachusetts in 1767

McKillop Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Hugh McKillop arrived in Pennsylvania in 1833
  • John McKillop, aged 24, arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Maryland in 1841
  • Dennis McKillop, aged 24, arrived in Missouri in 1848
  • Hugh McKillop, aged 20, landed in Missouri in 1848
  • Charles McKillop, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

McKillop Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Fanny McKillop, aged 18, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waipa" in 1876


  • Scott McKillop (b. 1986), American NFL football linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers
  • Rob McKillop, American bassist who once played for the thrash metal band Exodus
  • Heather McKillop (b. 1953), Canadian-American archaeologist, best known for her work on Mayan trade routes
  • Sir Thomas Fulton Wilson McKillop (b. 1943), Scottish chemist, CEO and former chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland
  • William McKillop (1860-1909), Scottish-born, Irish nationalist
  • Patricia McKillop (b. 1956), former Olympic field hockey player from Zimbabwe
  • Michael McKillop (b. 1990), Irish Olympic para-athlete
  • Lee Gordon McKillop (b. 1969), English stand-up comedian who uses the stage name Lee Mack
  • Hugh Cummings McKillop (1872-1937), Canadian politician
  • Bob McKillop (b. 1950), American men's basketball head coach of the Davidson College Wildcats men's basketball team



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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  5. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  6. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  7. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The McKillop Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McKillop 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 20 July 2015 at 10:31.

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