The McAlpines of Whatcom County, Washington are the descendents of some of the first European settlers in the northwest corner of Washington State. I retain a library of family documents passed down for generations and I’ve conducted my own genealogical research for about 15 years. Also, I have recently inherited much of the documentation passed down from the lifetime research of my great aunt and family historian Dorothy McAlpine Clevish of Bellingham.  This online database contains the bulk of the information and stories of my family history and genealogy. 

I am always interested in sharing information with distant cousins and researchers … please feel free to contact me at I am especially interested in the history of the McAlpins of Dumbarton and Kilmartin pre-1700 periods and the history and stories of the descendants of James McAlpine of Dumbarton (born 1749) and Volney McAlpine of Ontario.

Clan McAlpine

The Clan McAlpine is a Scottish
armigerous clan with ancient roots, our foundations traced to the House of Alpin and King Kenneth McAlpine, uniter of the Picts and Scots and arguably the first king of Scotland as a united country.

The McAlpine surname is also
considered a subfamily of the
MacGregor and Grant Clans, though DNA tracing has found the McAlpines of the Kilmartin/Oban regions of western Scotland are a distinct branch not associated with the MacGregor or Grant clans.


(our ancient crest and logo of
the Clan McAlpine society —
the boar’s head upon crown)


McAlpines of Kilmartin are descended from the tribes of Dal Riata, whose capital was at Dunadd.


Cuimhnich bas Alpein!
(Remember the death of Alpin)
(Society version: Remember McAlpines those from whom you’ve come)



The McAlpines proudly claim
descendance from Kenneth
of Dal Riata, son of Alpin, King of Picts.

Kenneth MacAlpin – Wikipedia


Cnuic `is uillt `is Ailpeinich
(Hills and Streams and McAlpines)

The McAlpine ancestral home is the region surrounding Kilmartin Glen, west of Glasgow / south of Oban.

(Dunadd Hillfort crag near Kilmartin, Scotland)

The Modern MacAlpines

The greater McAlpine family is now organized under the House of MacAlpin Society (formerly, the Clan MacAlpine Society) – website: MacAlpine (

The clan is without a Chief, but
has made substantial strides towards organization these past few years. The Clan is under the leadership of a Commander until a Chief is established. The society is currently seeking worthy members to nominate as Chief.

Revival of an ancient clan.

A Family Derbhfine was held

at Abbotsford House on 10 Sep 2016. The Family Conclave selected and recommended Michael Todd McAlpin, Sr. of Georgia (U.S.) for the role of Clan Commander.

On 19 April 2017 Michael received his Commission as Commander.


J.D. and family meet Commander Michael T. McAlpin
and Clan Seannachie Mark S C McAlpin
at the 2018 PNW Highland Games.


According to the name
McAlpine / MacAlpine / McCalpine
is about the 49,600th most common
surname. There are approximately
14,000 McAlpines in the world, with
about 6,500 persons in North America,
1,700 in Scotland, and 2,600 in
Australia / New Zealand.

Descendants of James McAlpine of Dumbarton

Many North American McAlpine families, such as my own, can trace their roots to immigrant James McAlpine and wife Margaret Bradt. Much of what we know of James and family comes from Volney McAlpine’s 1887 family history book (see below). His history is also recorded in Doris McAlpin Russell’s 1990’s “McAlpin(e) Genealogies” (partially, from information provided by Dorothy Clevish).

James was born in 1749 in Dumbarton, Scotland and practiced the trade of weaving. James and his brother Archibald both joined the British Army at James was stationed in India and Ireland before being sent to Quebec. James served with the 31st Regiment of Foot under General Burgoyne.