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Mcalpine Coat of Arms / Mcalpine Family Crest

Mcalpine Coat of Arms / Mcalpine Family Crest

The surname of McALPINE was derived from the Scottish MacCalpan, a baptismal name 'the son of Ailpean'. Early records of the name mention John MacCULPAN, who was recorded in the year 1260 and Walter COLPEN was documented in Scotland in the year of 1313. John M'CALPIN was the prior of the Friar Preachers of Perth in the year 1531. Scottish surnames fall into two quite distinct groups; those of Gaelic origin and those of English origin. The Gaelic language was brought to Scotland from Ireland around the 5th century AD, displacing the British language (an early form of Welsh) previously spoken there as well as elsewhere. Gaelic was the main language of that part of Scotland not subject to English influence, a rather more extensive area than the present day Highlands and Islands, where Gaelic is still spoken in places. It is from these northwestern and western area of Scotland that surnames of Gaelic origin, now almost universally Anglicized in form, have been disseminated around the world. The appellation 'Clan Alpine' has been given to a number of clans situated at considerable distances from each other, who have hitherto been supposed to possess a common descent from Kenneth Macalpine, the ancestor of a long line of Scottish kings. These clans are Clan Gregor, the Grants, Mackinnons, Macquarries, Macnabs and Macaulays. The name has many variant spellings which include MacCalpan and McAlpine. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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