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Surname MacElee - Meaning and Origin

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MacElee: What does the surname MacElee mean?

The Scottish surname MacElee is derived from the Gaelic personal name Mac Giolla Dhomhnaigh, which means "son of the devotee of St. Donewy." This personal name originated from Donewy (Donnshile), a Gaelic masculine name from the old Irish "dón" meaning "brown" or "chief” and the byname "shíle", which means "peace".

The clan name MacElee is associated with the Clan MacNaughton who hold ancient lands in the Argyll district of Scotland. Clan MacNaughton claim direct descent from the kings of Dál Riata, a Gaelic kingdom that comprised parts of both Scotland and Ireland. The ruling dynasty of the ancient kingdom was the Cenél nGabráin or Cenél nÓengusa, the descendants of the legendary Fergus Mór mac Eirc.

The surname MacElee has spread throughout Scotland, particularly to the counties of Lanarkshire and Roxburghshire. It is also found in the United States, particularly in areas settled by Scottish immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is a very common surname, with the family members living in both rural and urban areas.

The MacElee surname is known for its strong sense of family and loyalty. The name is defined by the strong sense of purpose and community among all of its members, and their commitment to protecting the clan’s ancient history and preserving their heritage for future generations.

MacElee: Where does the name MacElee come from?

The last name MacElee is most commonly found in Scottish and Irish families today. It is a derivation of the Scottish surname MacNeil and is common in both Scotland and Ireland. The surname is also found in other parts of the world due to Irish and Scottish descendants who have emigrated to other countries.

In Scotland, the name MacElee is most commonly found in the north and eastern parts of the country, especially near the border with England. It is also more prevalent in coastal regions of the country.

In Ireland, the name MacElee is most commonly found in the southern part of the country, particularly in the provinces of Munster and Leinster. The coastal regions of Connacht also have a small, but significant population of people with this name.

Overseas, the name can be found in countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It is also found in countries like France and Germany thanks to the influx of Irish migrants who moved there over the course of the 19th century.

No matter where in the world someone with the last name MacElee might be, they can take pride in their Scottish and Irish heritage.

Variations of the surname MacElee

MacElee is a surname of Scottish origin with many variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin. Some of the more common spellings and surnames of the same origin include MacElhose, M'Illeis, MacElyea, MacElhany, MacEwan, MacKeel, MacGill, Makill, MacGehell, Mac Gilleece, MacGilhespy, MacGillivray, MacKelvie, M'Coul, and MacEller.

The variants, spellings and surnames of MacElee are all derived from the Gaelic surname Mac an Eilidh, which translates to "son of the witness". This reflects a passage from the Bible found in Ecclesiastes 12:7: "The witness of the Lord is faithful, and the witness of men is true." It is thought that the name was adopted by a family that held a hereditary office of faith in witnessing the seals of important documents.

The spelling MacElee is most closely associated with the inhabitants of the Hebridean Isles in Scotland, where the name has been common for centuries. The spelling MacElyea is thought to have originated in Ulster, Northern Ireland, and to have been brought to Scotland during the seventeenth century. The variant M'Illeis is native to the Inverness-shire area in the Highlands, while the MacGehell spelling is found mostly in Perthshire.

Several spelling variations and surnames of the same origin represent the MacElee name around the world. Depending on the region one of these variants may be more commonly used than another, but all represent the same origin.

Famous people with the name MacElee

  • Meghan MacElee: Canadian actress, best known for her role as Claudine in the 2020 film Love, Guaranteed.
  • Alasdair MacElee: Scottish actor, best known for his roles in Primeval: New World and The Returned.
  • Gordon MacElee: American sports anchor and commentator, currently working for NBC Sports.
  • Fiona MacElee: Scottish-born Canadian actress, best known for roles in The Man in the High Castle, iZombie, and Cedar Cove.
  • Lachlan MacElee: American competitive cyclist and triathlete, winner of multiple national and international titles.
  • Mairead MacElee: British actress, best known for her roles in Casualty, Peep Show, and Tiger Aspect.
  • Rachel MacElee: Canadian athlete, gold medalist in the 2016 Ironman World Championships.
  • Hal MacElee: Canadian musician and composer, known for his works for video games and films.
  • Liam MacElee: British actor and singer, best known for his roles in After the Wedding and Love in Harmony Valley.
  • Angus MacElee: British actor, best known for roles in the films K-19: The Widowmaker and The Bourne Ultimatum.

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