McNawavich History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The noble name McNawavich was first used by the Boernicians, an ancient Scottish tribe. It is a name for a person who was the elder of two people,  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." 
Early Origins of the McNawavich family
The surname McNawavich 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." 
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. 
Early History of the McNawavich family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McNawavich research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1555, 1542, 1680, 1700 and are included under the topic Early McNawavich History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McNawavich Spelling Variations
Before the first dictionaries and printing presses went into use in the last few hundred years, spelling, particularly of names, was a largely intuitive matter. Consequently, many spelling variations occur in even the simplest names from the Middle Ages. McNawavich has been spelled Elder, Elders, Eldar, MacNoravaich and others.
Early Notables of the McNawavich family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was John Elder ( fl. 1555), Scottish writer, a native of Caithness who passed twelve years of his life at the universities of St. Andrews, Aberdeen, and Glasgow, and appears to have entered the ministry. "He came to England soon after the death of James V of Scotland in 1542, when he presented to Henry VIII a 'plot' or map of the realm of Scotland, being a...
Another 73 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McNawavich Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McNawavich family to Ireland
Some of the McNawavich family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 68 words (5 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 McNawavich family
The east coasts of the United States and Canada are still populated by many of the descendents of the Boernician-Scottish families who made that great crossing. They distributed themselves evenly when they first arrived, but at the time of the War of Independence those who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. This century, many of their ancestors have recovered their past heritage through highland games and other Scottish functions in North America. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that many immigrants bearing the name McNawavich 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.
Related Stories +
The McNawavich 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.
- ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
- ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
- ^ 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)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)