McVeigh One-Name Study

Genealogy and data on the McVeigh surname and variants including McVey, McVea, McVeagh and McVay

Established in 1979 and registered as a charity in 1989, the Guild provides its members with the means to share, exchange and publish information about one-name studies as well as encouraging and assisting all those interested in one-name studies by means of conference, seminars, projects and other activities.


The McVEIGH One-Name Study commenced in December 2015. It is my goal to attempt to trace all McVEIGHS (and variants such as McVEY, McVAY, McVEA, McVie, and McVEAGH) who were alive prior to 1900.

I encourage all McVEIGH descendants to join me in the quest to identify their ancestors prior to 1900 by sending me information on their branch. If you find reference to anyone connected to you on this site and the details are out of date or wrong please let me know with the corrections and I will amend them.

The McVeigh surname is Gaelic in origin. Scottish MacVey and MacVeagh are septs of Clan MacLean of Duart. McVeighs are also found in Ireland and one of the purposes of this study would ultimately be to try to determine if the two branches are related and the name derived from the same original source and location. This is a new project under construction, but I have been collecting data for this project and have GEDCOMs available for anyone that is interested. Watch for updates.

This is an ancient surname of early Gaelic origins. It is derived from 'Maccbethad' (modern Scottish 'Macbeth'), meaning 'son of life', or 'man of religion'. In addition to Scotland, the name is quite common in North East Ulster, Ireland. It is found in a wide variety of spellings which include McVeigh, McVaugh, McVagh, McVaugh, McVey, McVay, McBey, McVie, McVea and McVeagh. Its probable place of origin for the Scottish branch was in the Scottish Islands of Mull and Islay where in the medieval times it is believed that they were the hereditary physicians to the region. They were also, it is said, great historians, and collectors of ancient manuscripts.