MacHay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient Pictish-Scottish family that first used the name MacHay lived in ancient chronicles where the tradition relating this distinguished Pictish family of Hay begins during an attack by the Danes in the reign of Kenneth III of Scotland in 980. The defeated Scottish army retired through a narrow pass near Lochnarty in Perthshire which was later defended by a local farmer and his two sons. Upbraiding the retiring Scottish army, the farmer rallied the retreating Scottish and eventually defeated the Danes. They took the yokes from the oxen with which they were ploughing, and so belaboured the invaders as to drive them from the field, amidst shouts of Hay! Hay! The King rewarded the family with many grants of land including the Carse of Gowrie on the River Tay, traditionally marked by the limit of a falcon's flight, six miles in length. There is a monument still extant called the Falcon's Stone marking the falcon's place of rest.  The king also assigned three shields or escutcheons for the arms of the family, to intimate that the father and his two sons had been the three fortunate shields of Scotland.
Early Origins of the MacHay family
The surname MacHay was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland, but looking further back we find Hay family of Normandy was of considerable rank and importance in the year 823 AD.
Significantly, the family held a Coat of Arms from ancient times that consisted of three red shields on a silver background. They also held many baronies, including the Castle and Barony of La Hai-du-puits in Coutances from whence the Sire-de-la-haie came.
He accompanied Duke William of Normandy in his conquest of England and was granted vast estates in Sussex, Essex and Suffolk, as recorded in the Domesday Book. He died in 1098, his daughter marrying her cousin Robert de la Haie, Count of Mortain. William de Haya, who first settled in Scotland was probably Robert's son, and he witnessed charters by King Malcolm IV in 1160 AD. 
Early History of the MacHay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacHay research. Another 250 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1255, 1258, 1333, 1309, 1403, 1342, 1406, 1450, 1508, 1572, 1634, 1599, 1660, 1625, 1697, 1645, 1713, 1668, 1706, 1704 and are included under the topic Early MacHay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacHay Spelling Variations
The arts of spelling and translation were yet in their infancies when surnames began, so there are an enormous number of spelling variations of the names in early Scottish records. This is a particular problem with Scottish names because of the numerous times a name might have been loosely translated to English from Gaelic and back. MacHay has been spelled Hay, Haye, Haya, Mac Garaidh (Gaelic) and others.
Early Notables of the MacHay family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Sir Gilbert de la Haye (d. 1333), Lord High Constable of Scotland from 1309; Gilbert Hay (c.1403), Scottish poet and translator, author of "The Buik of King Alexander the Conquerour" and other works; Sir Thomas de la Hay (c. 1342-1406), Lord High Constable of Scotland, third member of the Hay family to hold this post, his predecessor was David Hay; John Hay, 1st...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacHay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacHay family to Ireland
Some of the MacHay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 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 MacHay family
This oppression forced many Scots to leave their homelands. Most of these chose North America as their destination. Although the journey left many sick and poor, these immigrants were welcomed the hardy with great opportunity. Many of these settlers stood up for their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. More recently, Scots abroad have recovered much of their collective heritage through highland games and other patriotic functions and groups. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has located various settlers bearing the name MacHay: Daniel Hay who settled in Maine in 1606; 14 years before the "Mayflower"; Arthur Hay settled in Virginia in 1663; Elizabeth Hay settled in Virginia in 1654.
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The MacHay 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: Serva jugum
Motto Translation: Keep the yoke.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ 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)