Show ContentsMcMasters History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

On the Scottish west coast, the McMasters family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. Their name comes from the personal name Angus. The Gaelic form of the name, Mac Aonguis, translates as son of Angus. Angus refers to the Pictish King Onnust who died in the year 761.

While there are no direct links with this King in the history of the Clan or surname, there is a conjectural line, which may be adopted. The lands descended into the Barony of Innes in the County of Elginshire. However, the son or sons of Angus, originally from the Kingdom of Dalriada, were one of the three kindred houses, of the kingdom, the other two houses being the Gabran (the largest) and Lornetach which provided fighting men for the defense of the Kingdom of early Scots. For every twenty homes owned, they were obliged to provide two galleys, and so Angus, having 430 houses, provided a fleet of approximately forty galleys for the defense of the waters of Dalriada, generally those estuaries around the mouth of the Clyde.

Early Origins of the McMasters family

The surname McMasters was first found in Morven, their earliest known territory. In 1230, the Clan suffered from King Alexander II's campaign against Argyll. The Clan, however, retained their castle Kinlochaline, which stands upon strategic rock in Morvern. A massive castle by early standards, today it is in ruins.

Early History of the McMasters family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McMasters research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the year 1358 is included under the topic Early McMasters History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McMasters Spelling Variations

In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. McMasters has appeared as MacInnes, MacInnis, MacAngus and many more.

Early Notables of the McMasters family (pre 1700)

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

McMasters Ranking

In the United States, the name McMasters is the 9,421st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

Ireland Migration of the McMasters family to Ireland

Some of the McMasters family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States McMasters migration to the United States +

These settlers arrived in North America at a time when the east was burgeoning with prosperous colonies and the expanses of the west were just being opened up. The American War of Independence was also imminent. Some Scots stayed to fight for a new country, while others who remained loyal went north as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of them went on to rediscover their heritage in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic Scottish events. The McMasters were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

McMasters Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Patrick McMasters, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1767 [2]
  • Robert McMasters, aged 24, who arrived in New York, NY in 1775 [2]
  • Elianora McMasters, aged 25, who landed in New York, NY in 1775 [2]
  • Eliza McMasters, aged 21, who arrived in New York, NY in 1775 [2]
  • John McMasters, aged 20, who landed in New York, NY in 1775 [2]
McMasters Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William McMasters, who landed in New York in 1834 [2]
  • Joseph McMasters, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1866 [2]

Canada McMasters migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McMasters Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. James McMasters U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [3]
  • Mr. James McMasters Sr., U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [3]
  • Mr. John McMasters U.E. who settled in Kemble Manor, Kings County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]
  • Mr. John McMasters U.E. who settled in Adolphus Town [Adolphustown], Ontario c. 1784 [3]
  • Mr. Daniel McMasters U.E., (McMaster) (b. 1751) born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 he died in 1827 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name McMasters (post 1700) +

  • John H. McMasters (1939-2008), American aeronautical engineer, an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Henry A. McMasters (1848-1872), United States Army Corporal during the Indian Wars who received the Medal of Honor for his actions at Red River, Texas on September 29, 1872
  • Jim McMasters (b. 1952), Canadian former professional NHL ice hockey forward who played from 1972 to 1977
  • Edwin McMasters Stanton (1814-1869), 27th United States Secretary of War during Civil War (1862-1868), 25th United States Attorney General (1860-1861)

The McMasters 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: MacAonghais a-rithist
Motto Translation: Again MacInnes

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X on Facebook