Scotch or Irish?

Payson, AZ

Can anyone tell me where the name McClemons comes from? Lately, we are thinking more from Scotland. Any help anybody?

Franklin Grove, IL(Zone 5a)

Just spotted this and hope I'm not too late to respond. Our name is McCliment. We always believed it was Irish - but have been told that it's origin was in Scotland as "Mac Clyment". It originated in the "Lamont" clan. Other associated names are "Lamb", "Lambie" and others that I do not recall at this time.

Payson, AZ

Thanks for the info. We also believe that our spelling has changed from Mac to Mcc. There seems to be alot of people with the McC spelling that have originated from Ireland but who knows. I am still on the hunt for the perfect website that will shed light on this for us. Do you know of any good places I could check out for more information?


San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

This site might be useful:

Scroll down to open the various categories - they don't open from the title list.


Payson, AZ

Awesome! Thanks

Audubon, PA(Zone 6b)

yuska... that was a great site!! Thanks for the tip......


San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Another site which may have clues (but may not be always accurate, IMO) is

A great deal of material here - as always, reinforce with other sources. Yuska

West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

If anybody's interested, people are Scots, or Scottish. Whisky is Scotch.. . or Irish, etc.

Cincinnati, OH

Many families went back and forth. In older documents Mac, Mc and M' are interchangeable. Many families went back and forth. The difference is primarily religeous. In the 1600s Most Roman Catholic Scotts moved to Ireland and Poland. Some Irish ended up in Galicia #1, which already was Celtic.
In the 1850s many Irish Catholics were evicted, by Protestant landlords and came to the US, e.g. Tammany Hall and Saint Tammany Parish.

Moxee, WA(Zone 4a)

Greenatheart, Many names that people take for granted as being Scottish or Irish have significantly older origin from Europe. The surname Harris which is a common as many in Scotland actually derived from a Norman named Willem De Harries who came to England circa 1060 and was on the winning side with William the Conqueror. The French Normans ruled England for a long long time up through 1700's (they spoke English eventually). French was the language of court and that is the major reason why there are so many French derived / borrowed words in the English language today. The French have had far more influence in the UK than most are aware. Some have denigrated the influence of the Norman French in England by describing them as not French but Norman Conquerors. They were in Normandy for several hundred years and they were not speaking a Norse language and they all had French names when they conquered England. Like the duck that looks like, walks like and talks like..... must be a duck.

No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

I agree with most of what UUallace said (the rest I'm not familiar with!) ;-)

Spelling doesn't mean much when it comes to Irish names, in my experience. My mother's family name is McElrea, McIrea, M'Elray - you get the picture. All these spellings - as well as some with Mac - are on so-called 'official' documents and records. Coming from modest means - mostly farmers - they couldn't read or write in the early days, so it was the bureaucrats that determined the spelling. Later on, it settled down to McElrea. One thing for certain - they were no relation to the McElroys of NI - which group, I was told when I visited Ireland, are usually Catholic. Mom said her dad was very emphatic about there being no connection. And yes, from what we have learned, the family is most likely SCOTS-Irish. lol

I agree with Photographer, too, about the French. Also, there is the Saxon influence to consider, especially with names that developed from place names in Yorkshire, for instance. All in all, unless you can document your family from one generation to another all the way back, it's very difficult to tell where the surname came from for sure. Some names developed in different places (even countries) at the same time, so obviously are not related.

Always an interesting topic, but one I don't concern myself with much, since I have enough trouble getting back far enough to where it makes a difference!

Jesup, GA

Can any one help me with this ? Murrey was my grandmother's maiden name. That part of the family from what I've heard came from Ireland during the potatoe famine. Can't find much info. on this. Although the name is spelled with an ey instead of ay at the end.Much thanks to any help with this.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

As KaperC wrote, spellings of surnames has been inconsistent for centuries. In the US, there began to be an interest in consistency along with social security, railroad pensions, and military benefits-- the 1930's, basically. So I would look for Murray in addition for Murrey, & also look at Murra, Mura, Murrah, etc.

No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

Don't forget Murragh! LOL

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Of course, in the old country-- Scotland or Ireland-- it would have been spelled with seventeen vowels and letters that are consonants functioning as vowels and consonants in strange unpronounceable combinations--- something like Ummmhuoirachyrllellarouighr...LOL.
Tough to Soundex code that one!

No. San Diego Co., CA(Zone 10b)

ROFL! Too true. I'm constantly asking my British husband how to pronounce some names, knowing that it can't be as simple (or difficult) as it looks.

Jesup, GA

Thanks yall, will start researching this. Need all the advice I can get. Again,Thanks.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Just found this thread - interesting material...... My maiden name is McDonald..... try searching thru HUNDREDS of those.... What REALLY makes it interesting is my Grandmother's name was MacDonald and my Grandfather McDonald! Can't find anything on either of them!!

Enjoyed the links.

Lake Park, GA

To the McDonald link: My maiden name was McDonald. My brother and I would still be searching for our roots if we hadn't found a book about our family. My mama and daddy were from Arkansas so I assumed that all of our roots were in that area too. Suprise..found out one of the great great great grandfathers had came from Scotland to NC and on over to Georgia. Eventually one of his sons left and went to Texas, then the family ended up in Bauxite, Arkansas. So glad we found book, which is in the Ga. Archives. I'm sure that I have kin all over that I never heard of. lol

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

After 10 years of doing genealogy, I've just come to realize that until there were military records (involving pensions) or social security files (involving pensions) that no one gave too much thought to how names were spelled. My gr-grandfather had gone by the surname Sloan, until he needed to apply for a veterans pension. He found out that his army papers were under the name Slone. He ended up changing the spelling of his last name to get his pension! Now if only I could find a genealogy software program that would let me list people as Last Name: Sloan/Slone/Slown, then I'd be set!

Fort Worth, TX

Sounds Scottish to me. You can goggle the name origin of it though.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Been a long time since I have gotten to catch up on this thread..... Laneybob, Bauxite AR is not too far from me..... a little over an hour! Small world. I know that my great grandfather supposedly came from NC as well....... but that is it. Could you please tell me the name of the book you are referring to?? Maybe I could find a copy locally? Our local library did have a huge geneology section, but some of it was damaged in a fire last year. Although they did manage to save most of it.

I have a friend who was a Wallis- but her UNCLE's name was Wallace. When they applied for SS numbers, part of the family's name was spelled one way, and part another. Her family had always spelled it Wallis until they got their cards back. Don't know WHY they didn't try to get them corrected - but instead part of the family started changing the way they spelled their last name. She was the only child of the ONLY Wallis left - since she was female, the true family name ended with her. :( I always thought that was sad. The other uncles had sons- so the wrong family name was propetuated. Odd...... I agree that a search engine to find multiple spellings would be awesome!

I have a BIG favor to ask of my DG friends... my daughter is in a contest on Tom's shoes trying to win a trip to help deliver shoes to kids in third world countries. We need to pull in a couple of hundred votes as we are nearing the deadline. If you could possibly take the time to click on this link and vote, I would greatly appreciate it. If you have any friends or family that might be willing to vote for her, please feel free to share the link. You do have to 'create' an account to vote - name, email and password. I would appreciate any help you can give. Thank you!!

Now that my nest is empty and my youngest has gone to college, I am trying to slowly dig out what little geneological info we have on my family and see if I can manage to find anything else. My sister did a lot of searching, but that was 35 years ago - now with computers and search engines, hopefully we can get a little futher!

Thanks for the encouragement to try again!

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.