MacAoidh History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The chronicle of the name MacAoidh begins with a family in the Pictish clans of ancient Scotland. The name is derived from the personal name Aodh, a cognate of Hugh. The Gaelic form of the name is usually Mac Aoidh and in Inverness, the Gaelic form of the name MacAoidh is Mac Ai.
"Nothing certain is known of the origin of the northern Mackays beyond the fact that they were early connected with Moray, and may have been a part of the ancient Clann Morgunn. The Inverness-shire Mackays are usually called in Gaelic Mac Ai, that is, MacDhai, or Davidson; they formed a branch of Clan Chattan." 
Early Origins of the MacAoidh family
The surname MacAoidh was first found in Sutherland (Gaelic: Cataibh), a former county in northern Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Highland, where early records show that Gilcrest M'Ay, forefather of the MacKay family of Ugadale, made a payment to the constable of Tarbert in 1326. It is claimed that the Clan is descended from the royal house of MacEth.
Early History of the MacAoidh family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacAoidh research. Another 299 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1408, 1411, 1429, 1329, 1506, 1575, 1873, 1940, 1640, 1692, 1689, 1726, 1692 and are included under the topic Early MacAoidh History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacAoidh Spelling Variations
When the first dictionaries were invented in the last few hundred years, spelling gradually became standardized. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound. Names were often recorded under different spelling variations every time they were written. MacAoidh has been written MacKay, MacCay, MacQuey, MacQuoid, MacKaw, MacKy, MacKye, MacCoy, McCoy and many more.
Early Notables of the MacAoidh family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Hugh Mackay (c. 1640-1692), Scottish general, Major-General Commanding in Chief in Scotland in 1689, killed at the Battle of Steinkeerke; and...
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacAoidh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacAoidh family to Ireland
Some of the MacAoidh family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 133 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacAoidh family
The crossing to North America did not seem so great in comparison with the hardships many Scots endured at home. It was long, expensive, and cramped, but also rewarding. North America offered land and the chance for settlers to prove themselves in a new place. And many did prove themselves as they fought to forge a new nation in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of those Scots can now experience much of their once-lost heritage through the Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up across North America in the last century. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of MacAoidh: Denis McCoy and his wife Catharine, who were colonists in Amelia county, Virginia in 1719; Agnes, Angus, Alexander, Anna, Catherine, Daniel, George, James, John, Margaret, Neil, Samuel and William McKay, who all arrived in Pennsylvania in 1772.
Contemporary Notables of the name MacAoidh (post 1700) +
- Rob Donn MacAoidh (1714-1778), Scottish Gaelic poet
- Seán Mac Aoidh, Irish poet, active in the 1820s
Related Stories +
The MacAoidh Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Manu forti
Motto Translation: With a strong hand.
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)