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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish McRoberts family come from? What is the Scottish McRoberts family crest and coat of arms? When did the McRoberts family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McRoberts family history?

The McRoberts family history stretches back to the clans of the Dalriadan kingdom on the sea-swept Hebrides islands and mountainous western coast of Scotland. The name McRoberts is derived from the personal name Robert. Known as the Clan Donnachaidh, the family's origins are very distinguished, as the senior branch of the line were the hereditary abbots of Dunkeld, who traced their descent from Iona. In addition, Abbot Duncan of Dunkeld, the Robertson progenitor, was killed in battle in 964, as he led the warriors, bearing, a reliquary of St. Columba. His grandson, Abbot Crinan of Dunkeld, married the Kings daughter and then fathered King Duncan I of Scotland who was killed by MacBeth (of Shakespearean fame). Crinan is buried at the Isle of lona, burial place of Scotland's early Kings.


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 McRoberts has been spelled Robertson, MacConachie, Maconachie, MacConaghy, MacConchie, MacConckey, MacConkey, MacDonnachie, MacDonachie, MacDunnachie, MacInroy, MacLagan, Mac Raibeirt (Gaelic) and many more.

First found in Atholl. King Duncan's younger son, Maelmore, sired Madadh, Earl of Atholl, and his grandson, Earl Henry, was father to Conan who held vast territories in this area. Conan of Glenerochie was the first Chief of the Robertsons and gave his name to the Clan Connchaidh or Duncan. His successor, Duncan, the 5th chief, led the Clan in the army of King Bruce at Bannockburn in 1314 against the English. For this service, and his subsequent staunch support of the Scottish Crown, his grandson Robert of Struan was granted the lands and barony in 1451.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McRoberts research. Another 805 words(58 lines of text) covering the years 1745, 1587, 1703, 1715, 1723, 1727, 1745, 1749, 1784, 1746, 1668 and 1689 are included under the topic Early McRoberts History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 61 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McRoberts Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the McRoberts family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 115 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Settlers from Scotland put down roots in communities all along the east coast of North America. Some moved north from the American colonies to Canada as United Empire Loyalists during the American War of Independence. As Clan societies and highland games started in North America in the 20th century many Scots rediscovered parts of their heritage. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name McRoberts were among those contributors:

McRoberts Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Andrew McRoberts, aged 21, arrived in Maryland in 1812
  • Brice McRoberts, who landed in New York in 1822
  • John M McRoberts, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1846
  • Alexander McRoberts, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1846
  • James McRoberts, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1855

McRoberts Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Thomas McRoberts, aged 33, a farmer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • Mary McRoberts, aged 23, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • Mary Ann McRoberts, aged 7, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • Agnes McRoberts, aged 21, a nurse, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878


  • Bob McRoberts, American former halfback in the National Football League
  • Samuel McRoberts (1799-1843), United States Senator
  • Justin McRoberts (b. 1971), American singer and songwriter
  • Joshua "Josh" Scott McRoberts (b. 1987), American professional NBA basketball player
  • Roberts "Bob" McRoberts (1874-1959), Scottish professional footballer and football manager
  • Briony McRoberts (1957-2013), British actress, known for her work on the Scottish soap Take the High Road from 1990 to 1999
  • Mike McRoberts (b. 1966), New Zealand television and radio journalist


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: Virtutis gloria merces
Motto Translation: Glory is the reward of valour.


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  1. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  3. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  6. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  9. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  10. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  11. ...

The McRoberts Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McRoberts Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 5 February 2015 at 10:39.

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