Origin of the Name MacElwee
family history was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
Variants of the name McElwee
include McEvoy, McGilloway, McVeagh and McAvoy. This Irish name is derived from the Gaelic Mac Giolla Bhuidhe sept name. This name translates from the words 'giolla' meaning 'lad' or 'youth' and 'buidhe' which means 'yellow'. Thus the name literally translates as 'son of the yellow youth'. This sept was located in Counties Donegal and Derry in the very North of Ireland .
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. Irish septs and clans that are related often belong to even larger groups, sometimes called tribes.
McGilloway and McEvoy are the most common variants of this name as is McKelvy, which is rendered as Kilboy in County Mayo.
The MacElwee coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all MacElwee descendants.