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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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.

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The surname McRoberts was 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.

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.


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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.

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

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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.

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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

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  • 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
  • W. B. McRoberts, American Democrat politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives from Lewis County, 1911-14, 1925-28
  • Thomas McRoberts, American politician, Member of Minnesota State Senate 13th District, 1861
  • Samuel McRoberts (1799-1843), American Democrat politician, U.S. Attorney for Illinois, 1829-31; Member of Illinois State Senate, 1829-31; U.S. Senator from Illinois, 1841-43
  • Josiah McRoberts, American Democrat politician, Member of Illinois Democratic State Committee, 1852-56
  • James W. McRoberts Jr., American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1972
  • Hugh McRoberts, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1900

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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. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  4. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  6. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  7. 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).
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. 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 14 January 2016 at 09:05.

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