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The west coast of Scotland and the rocky Hebrides islands are the ancient home of the McWha family. The root of their name is the names Wattie and Watty, both of which are pet forms of the personal name Walter. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Bhaididh, which translates as son of Wattie or son of Watty.

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The surname McWha 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.

Spelling and translation were not standardized practices until the last few centuries. Spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. McWha has been spelled MacWatt, MacWattie, MacWatters, MacQuattie, MacVatt and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McWha research. Another 253 words (18 lines of text) covering the year 1620 is included under the topic Early McWha 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 McWha Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the McWha family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 177 words (13 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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Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first McWhas to arrive in North America:

McWha Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Samuel McWha, aged 57, arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1826
  • John McWha, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1840
  • James McWha, who landed in Arkansas in 1852
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  • James Alexander McWha (b. 1947), Irish-born, Australian botanist, former Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
    2. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
    3. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
    4. 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.
    5. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
    6. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
    7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    8. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
    9. 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.
    10. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
    11. ...

    The McWha Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McWha 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 18 April 2013 at 08:49.

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