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On the Scottish west coast, the McSorley family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. Their name comes from the personal name Somhairle, also known as Somerled. The Gaelic form of the name, Mac Somhairle, translates as son of Somhairle or son of Somerled.

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The surname McSorley 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 from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

In various documents McSorley has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. MacSorley, MacSorely, MacSourly, MacCoullie, MacSorrill, MacSorrell, MacSurley and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McSorley research. Another 245 words (18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McSorley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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

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Some of the McSorley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 157 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Significant portions of the populations of both the United States and Canada are still made up of the ancestors of Dalriadan families. Some of those in Canada originally settled the United States, but went north as United Empire Loyalists in the American War of Independence. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the ancestors of many Scots on both sides of the border begin to recover their collective national heritage through Clan societies and highland games. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

McSorley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John McSorley, who landed in America in 1811
  • James McSorley, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1817
  • T McSorley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Ann McSorley, aged 11, landed in New York in 1854
  • Sarah McSorley, aged 9, arrived in New York in 1854

McSorley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Catharine McSorley arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Eleanor" in 1834
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  • Cisco A. McSorley (b. 1950), American politician, Democratic member of the New Mexico Senate (1997-)
  • John Bernard "Trick" McSorley (1852-1936), American Major League Baseball player who played from 1875 to 1886
  • Richard T. McSorley, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Pennsylvania State Senate 1st District, 1912
  • Mary McSorley, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1984
  • Jeffrey McSorley Jr., American politician, Candidate for Mayor of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, 2012
  • Camille McSorley, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1920, 1924
  • A. I. McSorley, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1904
  • Martin James "Marty" McSorley (b. 1963), Canadian former professional NHL hockey player and actor
  • Gerard McSorley (b. 1950), Irish character actor, known for his work in Braveheart (1995), Robin Hood (2010) and Veronica Guerin (2003)
  • Thomas Holland "Tom" McSorley, Canadian film critic, Executive Director of the Canadian Film Institute
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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: Per mare per terras
Motto Translation: By sea and by land.

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Citations



    Other References

    1. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    3. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
    4. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
    5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
    6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    7. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
    8. 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.
    9. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
    10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    11. ...

    The McSorley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McSorley 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 10 August 2016 at 14:08.

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