Show ContentsMcWhirter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The McWhirter surname is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "Mac Chruiteir," a patronymic created from the occupational byname "Cruiteir, " or "a player of the crwth."

Early Origins of the McWhirter family

The surname McWhirter was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire where the name is a variant of Macghruiter. [1]

This Gaelic name literally means 'brewer's son.' The original name was "found principally in the south of Perthshire, about Glenaitney, and was common in Dunblane and Doune in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Macgruers of the North as a sept are merged mostly in the Frasers and adjoining clans. The earliest recorded of the name is Gilawnane McCrouder, witness in a charter to John de Cumre, 1447, and Gillert McGrevar, tenant of Dowart, Stragartna, 1499." [1]

Early History of the McWhirter family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McWhirter research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1526, 1684, 1734, 1749, 1807 and 1890 are included under the topic Early McWhirter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McWhirter Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: MacWhirter, MacWhorter, MacQuirter, MacWherter, MacChruiter, MacWater, McWhirter, McWhirter, MacQuarter, MacChurter and many more.

Early Notables of the McWhirter family

Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McWhirter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McWhirter Ranking

In the United States, the name McWhirter is the 9,799th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the McWhirter family to Ireland

Some of the McWhirter family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 72 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States McWhirter migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McWhirter Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • George McWhirter, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [3]
  • Thomas McWhirter, who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1767
McWhirter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert McWhirter, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [3]
  • Peter McWhirter, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1850 [3]
  • Alexander McWhirter, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854 [3]

New Zealand McWhirter 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:

McWhirter Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Jane McWhirter, (b. 1851), aged 28, Scottish general servant, from Ayr travelling from Clyde aboard the ship "Nelson" arriving in Invercargill, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 28th August 1879 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name McWhirter (post 1700) +

  • Julie McWhirter (b. 1947), American voice actress, best known for her work as Kanga in "Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore"
  • John McWhirter, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kentucky, 1908 [5]
  • Norrie McWhirter (b. 1969), Scottish footballer
  • John McWhirter RA (1839-1911), Scottish landscape painter
  • William McWhirter (1851-1933), Scottish engineer, inventor of a combined voltmeter and ammeter, founder of MacWhirter Limited
  • Alan Ross McWhirter (1925-1975), British cofounder of Guinness World Records; brother of Norris McWhirter
  • Norris Dewar McWhirter CBE (1925-2004), British writer and political activist; cofounder of the Guinness World Records, brother of Ross McWhirter
  • John McWhirter, British mathematician and engineer
  • George McWhirter (b. 1939), Irish-born, Canadian writer, Vancouver’s first Poet Laureate
  • Douglas McWhirter (1886-1966), English Olympic gold medalist football player
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The McWhirter 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: Te Deum laudamus
Motto Translation: We praise thee, O God.

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from on Facebook