McKinstry History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The west coast of Scotland and the rocky Hebrides islands are the ancient home of the McKinstry family. The root of their name is the personal name Simon, or from Sim, which is a diminutive form of that name. The Gaelic forms of the name are Mac Shim, meaning son of Sim. or Mac Shimidh, meaning son of Simon.

Early Origins of the McKinstry family

The surname McKinstry was first found in the Isle of Bute, in western Scotland where they held lands anciently granted by the King of Scotland.

Early History of the McKinstry family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKinstry research. Another 210 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1333, 1506, 1529, 1539, 1542, 1550, 1586, 1609, and 1641 are included under the topic Early McKinstry History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McKinstry Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were not standardized practices until the last few centuries. Spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. McKinstry has been spelled M'Shimis, M'Shimmie, M'Kimmie, M'Kim, M'Kym, M'Kymme, M'Shiomoun, M'Kin and many more.

Early Notables of the McKinstry family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the McKinstry family to Ireland

Some of the McKinstry family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 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 McKinstry migration to the United States +

Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first McKinstrys to arrive in North America:

McKinstry Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John McKinstry, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1718 [1]
  • William McKinstry, who landed in New England in 1740 [1]
McKinstry Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James McKinstry, aged 38, who landed in South Carolina in 1812 [1]
  • Grace McKinstry, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States, in 1895
McKinstry Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Hugh McKinstry, aged 20, who landed in America from Kilmarnock, Scotland, in 1910
  • Ellen McKinstry, aged 30, who landed in America from Larne, Ireland, in 1910
  • Mary McKinstry, aged 46, who settled in America from Kilmarnock, Scotland, in 1910
  • Jean McKinstry, aged 17, who settled in America from Ruthwell, Scotland, in 1914
  • Archibald McKinstry, aged 44, who landed in America from London, England, in 1921
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada McKinstry migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McKinstry Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. James McKinstry, aged 25 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Caithness-shire" departing from the port of Belfast, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle on 28th May 1847 [2]

New Zealand McKinstry 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:

McKinstry Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Mckinstry, (b. 1832), aged 29, British ploughman travelling from London aboard the ship "Mystery" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 7th January 1862 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name McKinstry (post 1700) +

  • Elisha Williams McKinstry (1824-1901), American jurist who served as a justice of the California Supreme Court from 1874-1888
  • Alexander McKinstry (1822-1879), American politician, 3rd Lieutenant Governor of Alabama (1872-1874)
  • Nancy McKinstry (b. 1959), American CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Wolters Kluwer
  • James McKinstry (b. 1979), Scottish footballer
  • Henry McKinstry (1805-1871), Canadian politician, Mayor of Hamilton, Ontario from 1859 to 1861
  • Kenneth Christopher "Chris" McKinstry (1967-2006), Canadian researcher in artificial intelligence who led the development of the MISTIC project in 1996
  • John McKinstry, Canadian singer, songwriter, and bassist
  • Leo McKinstry, British journalist and author


The McKinstry 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: Je suis prest
Motto Translation: I am ready.


  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. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 45)
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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