In ancient Scotland
, a tribe called the Boernicians
were the first to use the name McNawavaich. It is a nickname
for a person who was the elder of two people, CITATION[CLOSE]
Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
bearing the same name or the name could have been derived from the Old English "ealdra," meaning "elder." Alternatively, the name could have a nickname for someone who was a "dweller at, or near, an elder tree." CITATION[CLOSE]
Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
Early Origins of the McNawavaich family
The surname McNawavaich was first found in Edinburghshire
, a former county, now part of the Midlothian
council area. One of the first records of the family was John Eldar or Eldare de Corstorfin who was burgess of Edinburgh in 1423 and "the surname is also recorded in Aberdeen in 1447. John Elder, a renegade Scot, urged Henry VIII ('Bagcheeks') to invade Scotland
, assuring him of the support of the Highland Clans. Andro Elder, was a reidare at Menmure in 1574." CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
Further to the south, "this surname is derived from a nickname 'the elder.' The usual form in the Yorkshire Poll Tax is Senior, and this has become one of the strongly established surnames of that county." However, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 does list Ricardus ye Elder. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Early History of the McNawavaich family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNawavaich research.Another 141 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 189 and are included under the topic Early McNawavaich History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McNawavaich Spelling Variations
In the Middles Ages scribes spelled names by their sound. Often a name was written under a different spelling variation each time it was recorded. McNawavaich has appeared as Elder, Elders, Eldar, MacNoravaich and others.
Early Notables of the McNawavaich family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early McNawavaich Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McNawavaich family to Ireland
Some of the McNawavaich family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 223 words (16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McNawavaich family to the New World and Oceana
The ancestors of Boernician-Scottish settlers dot North America even today. They settled all along the east coast when they came over, but some went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the War of Independence
. However, these strong lines endured as Scottish families in the United States and Canada have rediscovered much of the heritage that was taken from them centuries ago. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name McNawavaich, or a variant listed above: James Elder who settled in New Hampshire
in 1718; along with Thomas, followed by David, Isaac, John, Robert, Samuel, and Thomas; but perhaps the most famous of the settlers was the Reverend John Elder who formed and was Captain of the Paxtang Rangers, known as the Paxtang Boys in 1753.
The McNawavaich 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: Virtute duce
Motto Translation: With virtue for guide.