Show ContentsMcPhie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Scotland's coastal mountains and Hebrides islands were known in ancient times as the kingdom of Dalriada. The name McPhie evolved there as a nickname for a dark-featured, peaceful person. The Gaelic name of the Clan is Mac Dubhshithe, which translates as black one of peace. One branch of the Clan on the island of North Uist was known as Dubh-sidh, meaning 'black fairy,' due to their whimsical association with the faerie folk. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the McPhie family

The surname McPhie was first found in on the Isle of Colonsay, where the eponymous ancestor of the Clan may be Dubhshith, also called Dubside, who was lector at the Cathedral on the sacred isle of Iona in 1164. As the name MacFee is one of the oldest of all Dalriadan surnames it appears in records as early as the reign of Alexander II, when Johannes Macdufthi was witness to a charter in Dumfriesshire. In 1296, Thomas Macdoffy swore an oath of allegiance to King Edward I of England. [2]

Early History of the McPhie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McPhie research. Another 398 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1506, 1512, 1531, 1532, 1541, 1569, 1585, 1595, 1605, 1609, 1626, 1681, 1703, 1723, 1747, 1838, 1845, 1850, 1890 and 1981 are included under the topic Early McPhie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McPhie Spelling Variations

Spelling in the medieval era was a highly imprecise process. Translation, particularly from Gaelic to English, was little better. For these reasons, early Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. In various documents McPhie has been spelled MacFie, McFey, MacFee, MacDuffie, MacPhee, MacGuffie, MacCuffie, MacPhie, Maffie, Maffey, MacDubh-shithe (Gaelic) and many more.

Early Notables of the McPhie family

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

Ireland Migration of the McPhie family to Ireland

Some of the McPhie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States McPhie migration to the United States +

Many settled along the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. As the American War of Independence broke out, those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these hardy Dalriadan-Scottish settlers began to recover their collective history in the 20th century with the advent of the vibrant culture fostered by highland games and Clan societies in North America. Highland games, clan societies, and other organizations generated much renewed interest in Scottish heritage in the 20th century. The McPhie were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown:

McPhie Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Aleert McPhie, aged 39, who landed in America from Glasgow, in 1892
  • Rev. J. McPhie, aged 43, who immigrated to America, in 1893
McPhie Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • John R. McPhie, aged 19, who settled in America from Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1909
  • Thomas McPhie, aged 18, who landed in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1910
  • Mina McPhie, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States from Airdrie, Scotland, in 1911
  • Minna McPhie, aged 38, who settled in America from Airdrie, Scotland, in 1911
  • Reta McPhie, aged 26, who landed in America from Airdrie, Scotland, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia McPhie migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

McPhie Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William McPhie who was convicted in Glasgow, Scotland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Duchess of Northumberland" on 1st October 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]
  • Mr. William McPhie, Scottish convict who was convicted in Glasgow, Scotland for 10 years, transported aboard the "China" on 136th January 1846, arriving in Norfolk Island, Australia [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name McPhie (post 1700) +

  • Leland McPhie (1914-2015), American centenarian track and field athlete
  • Heather McPhie (b. 1984), American freestyle moguls skier at the 2010 Winter Olympics
  • James McPhie VC (1894-1918), Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • James "Jim" McPhie (1920-2002), Scottish footballer
  • Stewart "Mad Dog" McPhie (b. 1971), English professional wrestler

The McPhie 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: Pro Rege
Motto Translation: For the King.

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. 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)
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th July 2021). Retrieved from
  4. Convict Records of Australia. Retrieved 5th February 2021 from on Facebook