Home   |   Customer Service   |   Site Map   |   Name Search   |   How To Buy

Shopping Cart
0 Items
BBB - A+ Rating - the best there is
Houseofnames > Knowledge Base > Mac, Mc prefix
From Houseofnames.com

  

Mac, Mc prefix


Scottish and Irish patronymic surnames frequently have the prefix Mac or Mc. When these surnames were originally developed, they were formed by adding the Gaelic word mac, which means son of, to the name of the original bearer's father. For example, the surname MacDougall literally means son of Dougal. In later times, these prefixes were also added to the occupation or nickname of the bearer's father. For example, MacWard means son of the bard and MacDowell means son of the black stranger.

The Mac and Mc Myth


Numerous variations of this prefix emerged, for a number of reasons. It was rendered Mag before vowels and aspirated consonants. Historical records concerning Irish and Scottish names reveal that the common prefix Mc and the less common prefixes M' and Mcc developed as abbreviations of the original Gaelic prefix Mac. Thus, the popular beliefs that Mc is a distinctively Irish prefix while Mac is exclusively Scottish, and that one prefix is used by Catholic families while the other one is specifically Protestant are erroneous. In actuality, the same person often had his surname recorded using both Mac and Mc on separate occasions.

In hopes of finally clearing this misnomer, we are including a quote from Irish Families written Edward MacLysaght (1887-1986), Chairman of Irish Manuscripts, former Chief Herald of Ireland:

I may refer here to the widespread belief outside Ireland the Mac is essentially a Scottish prefix. To us this idea is absurd. for many of our foremost Irish families bear Mac names such as MacCarthy, MacDermot, MacGuinness, MacGrath, MacGillycuddy, MacKenna, MacMahon, MacNamara and so on. Nevertheless, it is a fallacy widely held.[1]

To further emphasize the point, we draw your attention to another Chief Herald of Ireland, John O'Hart (1824-1902) author of countless books Irish genealogies including Irish Pedigrees in which he notes the following under the title Irish Adfixes

Mac, the son or descendant of; as Cormac MacAirt, "Cormas the son of Art; MacDonnell, "the descendants of Donall," etc[2]

References


  1. ^ Edward MacLysaght, Irish families (1972) Crown Publishers (pg 16)
  2. ^ John O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees (1989 reprint of 1892) Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc. (pg 36)
  3. ^ Swyrich, Archive materials

This page was last modified on 4 January 2011 at 15:00.

2000-2014 Swyrich Corporation. See Terms of Use for details.
houseofnames.com is an internet property owned by Swyrich Corporation.

Suggested Reading


Anderson Armorial History with Coat of Arms

Anderson Armorial History with Coat of Arms
Our Rating: Stars
The most comprehensive study of the Coats of Arms and family history all in a presentation suitable for framing.

Anderson Surname History

Anderson Surname History
Our Rating: Stars
Over 20 years of research into the family history from the earliest records, showing spelling variations, early origins, notables, settlers and much more. Suitable for framing.

The Vikings: A History

The Vikings: A History
Our Rating: Stars
"A fascinating history of the Viking age and its complex culture and influence



Tools

E-Newsletters:
BBB - A+ Rating - the best there is