McLiver History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Hebrides islands and Western coastal mountains of Scotland were once part of the ancient kingdom of Dalriada. The name McLiver was born there, as a nickname for a prominent ruler. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Fhlaithbheartaich, which means son of the dominion bearing, or son of the ruler. The name is a cognate of the Irish name Flaherty, which is Flaithbheartach in Gaelic. Flaithbheartach, in modern Irish, means generous or hospitable, which may hint at some of the qualities that are described by the name McLiver.

Early Origins of the McLiver family

The surname McLiver was first found in Islay, one of the Hebridean islands, and Court of the Lords of the Isles from very ancient times. The MacLavertys, MacLevertys, and variations on that spelling were heralds of the great Lords of the Isles, the first Dalriadan kingdom of Scotland.

The MacLiver variant is an interesting one. "The old pronunciation was Macleever, [while] the modern is Macliver. A commission was granted Campbell of Auchinbrek and others in 1619 to apprehend Ewne M' Finla VcGillevir in Kilchoane, and John McEwne VcIlliver, who had been denounced rebels by Campbell of Barbreck. John Roy M'Gilliver in Islay, 1686. Sometimes confused with Macclure, q. v. M'Ileur (in Islay) 1733." [1]

Early History of the McLiver family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McLiver research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1524 and 1540 are included under the topic Early McLiver History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McLiver Spelling Variations

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 McLiver include MacLaverty, McLaverty, McLafferty, MacLafferty, MacLardy, MacLardie, McLardy, McLardie, MacLeverty, McLeverty, MacLacharty, McLacharty and many more.

Early Notables of the McLiver family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the McLiver family to Ireland

Some of the McLiver family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand McLiver 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:

McLiver Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Elizabeth McLiver, aged 42, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • Agnes McLiver, aged 24, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • Lochlan McLiver, aged 22, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • Elisabeth McLiver, aged 18, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • Duncan McLiver, aged 16, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The McLiver 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: Per mare per terras
Motto Translation: By sea and by land.


  1. ^ 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)


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