Origin of the Name MacKelvey
The origin of the name MacKelvey
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 McKelvey
include Kilboy, Calvey and McElwee. This name in Irish is Mac Giolla Bhuidhe and the latter variants are the anglicized forms of this. This sept came from Connaght.
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.
In the Tribes and Customs of the Hy Fiachrach, Mac Giolla Bhuidhe is placed in the Barony of Carra, County Mayo, under the O'Gormleys. The first mention of the name was in the Four Masters under the date 1181 this mentioning two leading men of Connaght called Mac Giolla Buidhe. The variant Calvey is peculiar to Counties Mayo and Sligo and in Ulster the name was anglicized Kilboy. Other variants of the name recorded by local registrars in 1890 were McCelvey, McElvee, McElvie, McGilvie, McKilvie and Kilvey.
The MacKelvey 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 MacKelvey descendants.