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MacBay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The western coast of Scotland and the desolate Hebrides islands are the ancient home of the MacBay family. Their name is derived from the names of Macbeth and Bethune, or Beaton. The Macbeth and Bethune families, who were hereditary physicians to the Chiefs of Macdonald, practiced medicine on the Isles during the Middle Ages and their names merged in English into the one surname of Beaton. The Macbeths were concentrated in Islay and Mull, whereas the Beatons were concentrated in Skye.

Early Origins of the MacBay family

The surname MacBay was first found in the Isle of Islay, where legend has it that the progenitor of this Clan is none other than Macbeth (Mac Bethad mac Findláich) (1005-1057), the High Steward of Moray. As his mother was a daughter of King Kenneth III, and he married Grudoch, a daughter of the son of King Kenneth III, he had as much of a claim to the Scottish throne as King Duncan I. MacBeth, therefore, challenged Duncan and defeated him in battle in 1040, assuming the throne.

Known in English simply as Macbeth, he was last Celtic king of Scotland, ruling from 1040 to 1057, when he died in battle against future king Malcolm of the Canmore dynasty.

He is best known through the Shakespearean drama bearing his name. Thespians rarely mention the play by the name and typically call it "the Scottish play" as they believe that by uttering the name brings one bad luck.

Early History of the MacBay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacBay research.
Another 319 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1545, 1600, 1609, and 1763 are included under the topic Early MacBay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacBay Spelling Variations

Historical recordings of the name MacBay include many spelling variations. They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. They include McBeth, Beaton, Beeton, MacBeth, MacBeaton, McBee and many more.

Early Notables of the MacBay family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early MacBay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the MacBay family to the New World and Oceana

Significant portions of the populations of both the United States and Canada are still made up of the ancestors of Dalriadan families. Some of those in Canada originally settled the United States, but went north as United Empire Loyalists in the American War of Independence. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the ancestors of many Scots on both sides of the border begin to recover their collective national heritage through Clan societies and highland games. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: Alexander McBeth, his wife and their 7 children, who arrived in Canada in 1815; Alexander McBeth, who came to New York in 1802; Charles McBeth, who was naturalized in South Carolina in 1804.

The MacBay 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: Conjuncta virtuti fortuna
Motto Translation: Good fortune is allied to bravery

MacBay Family Crest Products

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