Miskell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The annals of Scottish history reveal that Miskell was first used as a name by descendants of the Pictish tribe of ancient Scotland. The Miskell family lived in the lands of Keith in the county of East Lothian. Traditionally the Keiths were descended from Robert, an early Chieftain of the Catti tribe, and possibly one of the earliest settlers in Scotland. Robert joined King Malcolm II at the battle of Panbridge, in 1006, against Camus, leader of the Danes. Robert slew Camus for which King Malcolm granted Robert the hereditary title of Marshall of Scotland, with a barony in Lothian and the island of Inskeith in the gulf of Edinburgh. It is for this title that the Keiths are sometimes known as the Marshalls, and many Clansmen adopted that name.

Early Origins of the Miskell family

The surname Miskell was first found in Haddingtonshire where Harvey Keith, successor of the aforementioned Robert inherited the office of Marshal late in the 13th century, but was imprisoned by the English until 1304. On his release he became one of four Deputy Wardens of Scotland. He joined the cause of King Robert the Bruce, and for their assistance to the Scottish crown, the Clan was granted the royal forest of Kintore. Harvey Keith commanded the Scots Cavalry at Bannockburn and was probably more instrumental in the annihilation of the English army than any other single person. He was again granted lands for his deeds, this time at the expense of the Clan Cumming (Comyn), whose estates at Buchan were acquired by the Keith Clan.

His great grandson, Sir William Keith, founded the tower of Dunottar Castle. Through marriage with an heiress of the Cheynes of Axkergill, the Keiths acquired lands in Caithrless, and began a never-ending succession of feuds with their new neighbors, the Gunns and others.

Early History of the Miskell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Miskell research. Another 359 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1438, 1464, 1475, 1540, 1588, 1581, 1553, 1623, 1585, 1635, 1610, 1670, 1714, 1718, 1699, 1758, 1694, 1664, 1712, 1638, 1716 and are included under the topic Early Miskell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Miskell 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 Miskell include Keith, Keath, Ceiteach (Gaelic) and others.

Early Notables of the Miskell family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was William Keith (d. 1475), 1st Earl Marischal of Scotland; Agnes Keith, Countess of Moray (c.1540-1588), a Scottish noblewoman; William Keith, 4th Earl Marischal (d. 1581), a Scottish nobleman and politician; George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal (c.1553-1623), a Scottish nobleman; William Keith, 6th Earl Marischal (c.1585-1635), a Scottish lord, Earl Marischal and naval official; William...
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Miskell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Miskell family to Ireland

Some of the Miskell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Miskell 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 Miskell:

Miskell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Miskell, aged 18, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1775 [1]
Miskell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Miskell, aged 23, who settled in America, in 1895
  • William Miskell, aged 49, who landed in America, in 1897
Miskell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Patrick Miskell, aged 22, who immigrated to the United States from Kilkerrin, Ireland, in 1908
  • Maggie Miskell, aged 18, who landed in America from Ballinlongh, Ireland, in 1908
  • Richard Miskell, aged 25, who landed in America from Dunmore, Ireland, in 1911
  • Mary Miskell, aged 24, who landed in America from Ballinlough, Ireland, in 1912
  • Bridget Miskell, aged 20, who landed in America from Kilkerrin, Ireland, in 1916
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Miskell (post 1700) +

  • Robert A. Miskell, American co-inventor of the Screw-on electrical wire connector (1997)
  • Brian Miskell, American actor, known for Close the Loop (2013), The Raft (2016) and Off the Clock (2011)
  • Nick Kane Miskell, American musician, former member of And Then There Were None,an American rock band from Salem, New Hampshire (active 2003-2010)


The Miskell 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: Veritas vincit
Motto Translation: Truth Conquers.


  1. ^ 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)


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