McPhillips History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The McPhillips family comes from the ancient Scottish Dalriadan clans of the mountainous west coast of Scotland. The name McPhillips is derived from the personal name Philip, which is originally derived from the Greek personal name Philippos, which means horse-lover. The Gaelic form of the surname is Mac Fhilib, meaning son of Philip. The f is aspirated in the genitive case, causing it to disappear. [1]

Early Origins of the McPhillips family

The surname McPhillips was first found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where they held a family seat at Brae Lochaber from ancient times being descended from an ancient chieftain of the MacDonnells of Keppoch who were, in turn, descended from the Lords of the Isles. It has been suggested that the MacKillops or MacGilps may be the sons of Ilpin or Gilpin, in Iam Lom's "Soiidh do'n Ghreumach."

"Some of this name are said to have been standard-bearers to the Campbells of Dunstaffnage, others are included as septs of Macdonald of Glencoe and of Macdonells of Keppoch, and Mackillop also occurs as a surname in Arran. Finlaius Macpilibh, priest of the diocese of Argyll, is in record in 1433, and in 1437 John, son of Fynlaius Prioris Macphilib, appears as perpetual vicar of Kilcalmonell." [1]

The MacPhillip or MacPhillips variant reappears later in history as the first record of the branch was found as "Philip, a son of Fingonius, prior of Iona, who was commemorated on a tombstone in Cladh Reg, Kirkapoll, Tiree, 1495. " [1]

Early History of the McPhillips family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McPhillips research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1433, 1437, 1526, 1532, 1547 and 1659 are included under the topic Early McPhillips History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McPhillips 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 McPhillips include MacKillop, McKillop, MacGilp, McGilp, MacKillip, McKillip, MacGillip, McGillip, MacKillup, McKillup, Kellop, Kellops, Killop, Killup, Gilp, Gillip, Killip, Killips, MacFhilib, MacPhilip and many more.

Early Notables of the McPhillips family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the McPhillips family to Ireland

Some of the McPhillips family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 145 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McPhillips migration to the United States +

The hardy Scots who made the crossing settled all along the east coast of North America and in the great west that was just then opening up. At the time of the American War of Independence, many United Empire Loyalists moved north from the American colonies to Canada. Scottish national heritage became better known in North America in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic events. An examination of immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name McPhillips arrived in North America very early:

McPhillips Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hugh McPhillips, aged 21, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1849 [2]
  • Thomas McPhillips, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1850 [2]
  • Edward McPhillips, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]
  • James McPhillips, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1886 [2]

Australia McPhillips migration to Australia +

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

McPhillips Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Mcphillips, (b. 1824), aged 20, Irish labourer who was convicted in Monaghan, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Cadet" on 9th April 1844, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name McPhillips (post 1700) +

  • Mary M. McPhillips, American politician, Member of the New York State Assembly (1983-1989)
  • Hugh McPhillips (1920-1990), American actor and director
  • Mary Helen McPhillips (1931-1998), Canadian-born, American television personality, host of The Martha Deane program in the 1970s and 1980sIrish Film and Television Award
  • Colin Patrick "Col" McPhillips (b. 1975), American professional longboard surfrider from San Clemente, California
  • Joseph A. McPhillips III (1937-2007), American teacher from Mobile, Alabama who moved to Tangier, Morocco and was headmaster for 37 years at the American School of Tangier
  • Julian L. McPhillips Jr. (b. 1946), American lawyer and candidate for Attorney General of Alabama in 1978
  • Bill McPhillips (1910-1992), Scottish professional football goalkeeper
  • Paul McPhillips (b. 1971), Scottish former professional snooker player
  • Mr. Rossa Dominick McPhillips M.B.E., British Lance Corporal for The Intelligence Corps for Army Reserves was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 17th June 2017
  • John McPhillips, Irish film music composer, Irish Film and Television Award winner, known for his work on Spin the Bottle (2004), Handsome Devil (2016) and Hero: 108 (2010)
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  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)
  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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/cadet/


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