The last name was spelled Mucklewaine in early records, as well as several other variants, but always pronounced the same. It is one of the oldest family names in Scotland and one of the first ten Macs.
While this man may or may not have come to America with his son as our earliest immigrant ancestor, there are a few things known about earlier ancestors in Scotland:
"John Macilvaine, living in 1632, married Anna Corrie of the Corries of Kelwood, who inherited the estates of her family by the death of her brother. She died in February 1632, her will is in the registers office at Edinburgh.
John Macilvaine of Grimet, son of John MacIlvaine and Anna Corrie is believed to have married a Cunningham, niece of William, Earl of Glencairn. She is mentioned in the will of Quentin MacIlvaine in connection with his nephews, 'the young sons of John MacIlvaine of Grimet.' Quentin MacIlvaine made disposition of Thomaston in his possession, having been sold for the payment of fines and debts. John MacIlvaine died September 21, 1669. His son, John, succeeded to Grimet, but with him the property passed from the family as a result of their being Covenanters.
At this time religious persecutions forced the family to take refuge for a short time in the north of Ireland, making their home by the shores of Loughneagh in Ulster. Until 1692 their names are to be found on the records of Old Kerk as members of the sessions. Their
names appear on almost all of the documents signed by the gentry and known as the "Solemn League and Covenant." It was during the persecution of the covenanters in the war resulting in the death of King Charles the First, of England, that the property of the
MacIlvaines passed from their hands. One of the descendants of John MacIlvaine who shortly returned to Ayrshire was Joseph McIlvaine, born about 1700."
A McElvain descendant, Frank McElvain of Topeka, KS, in 1945 said he had documentary records of the family back to Nigel McYlveyne, Laird of Grimet, Scotland, about 1399. He visited the old estates and the Record House in Edinburgh in 1919 while serving in the Army of Occupation.