McTaggart History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

An ancient Scottish people known as the Picts were the forefathers of the McTaggart family. McTaggart is a name for a the Gaelic name Mac an t-Sagairt, which means "son of the priest." [1]

Early Origins of the McTaggart family

The surname McTaggart 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 McTaggart family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McTaggart 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 McTaggart History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McTaggart Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, there was no basic set of rules and scribes wrote according to sound. The correct spelling of Scottish names were further compromised after many haphazard translations from Gaelic to English and back. Spelling variations of the name McTaggart include MacTaggart, MacTagart, MacIntaggart, MacTuggart, MacToggart and many more.

Early Notables of the McTaggart 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 McTaggart Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McTaggart migration to the United States +

Scots left their country by the thousands to travel to Australia and North America. Desperate for freedom and an opportunity to fend for themselves, many paid huge fees and suffered under terrible conditions on long voyages. Still, for those who made the trip, freedom and opportunity awaited. In North America, many fought their old English oppressors in the American War of Independence. In recent years, Scottish heritage has been an increasingly important topic, as Clan societies and other organizations have renewed people's interest in their history. An examination of passenger and immigration lists shows many early settlers bearing the name of McTaggart:

McTaggart Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James McTaggart, aged 20, who landed in New York, NY in 1775 [2]
  • Charles McTaggart, who landed in Virginia in 1793 [2]
McTaggart Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hugh, James, Mathew, and Peter McTaggart all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
  • John McTaggart, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1855 [2]
  • Hugh, James, Mathew, Peter McTaggart, who all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
  • Bernard McTaggart, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872 [2]
  • Daniel McTaggart, who arrived in Arkansas in 1880 [2]
McTaggart Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Archie McTaggart, who landed in Arkansas in 1904 [2]
  • Ross Darling McTaggart, who arrived in Alabama in 1922 [2]

Canada McTaggart migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McTaggart Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Corpl. James McTaggart U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [3]
McTaggart Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Robert McTaggart, who landed in Canada in 1831

Australia McTaggart migration to Australia +

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

McTaggart Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Robert McTaggart, aged 36, a teacher, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Trafalgar" [4]
  • John McTaggart, aged 21, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Warren Hastings"
  • Donald McTaggart, Scottish convict from Glasgow, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on April 16, 1855, settling in Western Australia [5]

New Zealand McTaggart migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McTaggart Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Archibald McTaggart, aged 22, a carpenter, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name McTaggart (post 1700) +

  • John McTaggart (1896-1946), American Champion jockey in Thoroughbred horse racing with 157 wins
  • Lynne McTaggart (b. 1951), American journalist, author, publisher and lecturer, now residing in London, best known as the author of author of The Intention Experiment and The Field
  • Ed McTaggart (b. 1951), American drummer, best known as the drummer of the rock band Daniel Amos
  • Sir John McTaggart (1789-1867), 1st Baronet, a Scottish Liberal politician, Member of Parliament for Wigtown Burghs (1835–1857)
  • Richard McTaggart MBE (b. 1935), Scottish three-time gold medalist boxer from Dundee, Scotland
  • William McTaggart (1835-1910), Scottish landscape and marine painter
  • David Fraser McTaggart (1932-2001), Canadian-born environmentalist, known for his pioneering work with Greenpeace International
  • Alexander John "Alex" McTaggart (b. 1949), Australian politician, Councillor of the Northern Beaches Council for Pittwater Ward (2017-), 6th Mayor of Pittwater Council (2005-2007)
  • Albert Robert "Bert" McTaggart (b. 1916), Australian rules footballer who played for Carlton and Footscray in the Victorian Football League
  • John McTaggart Ellis "J.M.E." McTaggart (1866-1925), Enlgish idealist metaphysician from London, known for his work "The Unreality of Time" (1908), in which he argues that time is unreal
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • Duncan McTaggart (1919-1939), British Telegraphist with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [6]


The McTaggart 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)
  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. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The TRAFALGAR 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Trafalgar.htm
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Western Australia, Australia in 1855 with 261 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adelaide/1855
  6. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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