McTagart History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The saga of the McTagart family name begins among the people of an ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. The McTagart name is derived from the Gaelic name Mac an t-Sagairt, which means "son of the priest." [1]

Early Origins of the McTagart family

The surname McTagart was first found in Ross-shire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rois) a former county, now part of the Council Areas of Highland and Western Isles in Northern Scotland, which emerged from the Gaelic lordship of the Earl of Ross. One of the first on record was Ferchar, son of the Red Priest of Applecross in Ross. He was knighted by King Alexander of Scotland in 1215 for his assistance in subduing the rebellious clans of Moray. He eventually became the Earl of Ross. [1]

The Chronicle of Melrose noted: "Machentagar attacked them and mightily overthrew the king's enemies; and he cut off their heads and presented them as gifts to the new king ... And because of this, the lord king appointed him a new knight."

Fearchar of Ross or Ferchar mac in tSagairt (anglicized as Farquhar MacTaggart), was the first of the Scottish Ó Beólláin (O'Beolan, Beolan) family who received by Royal Grant the lands and Title of Mormaer or Earl of Ross (1223-1251.)

Early History of the McTagart family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McTagart research. Another 143 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1459, 1504, 1527, 1581, 1583, 1688, 1789, 1867, 1835, 1857, 1841 and 1938 are included under the topic Early McTagart History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McTagart Spelling Variations

Repeated and inaccurate translation of Scottish names from Gaelic to English and back resulted in a wide variety of spelling variations with single names. McTagart has appeared MacTaggart, MacTagart, MacIntaggart, MacTuggart, MacToggart and many more.

Early Notables of the McTagart family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Sir John McTaggart, 1st Baronet (1789-1867), a Scottish Liberal MP in the British Parliament who represented Wigtown Burghs (1835-1857) and was created a Baronet in 1841. The...
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McTagart Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Canada McTagart migration to Canada +

Many Scottish families suffered enormous hardships and were compelled to leave their country of birth. They traveled to Ireland and Australia, but mostly to the colonies of North America, where many found the freedom and opportunity they sought. It was not without a fight, though, as many were forced to stand up and defend their freedom in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of these Scots abroad have rediscovered their heritage in the last century through the Clan societies and other organizations that have sprung up across North America. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name McTagart:

McTagart Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Michael McTagart, aged 25, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • Margaret McTagart, aged 26, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833


The McTagart 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: Ratione non vi
Motto Translation: By reason, not by force.


  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)


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