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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish MacKness family come from? What is the Scottish MacKness family crest and coat of arms? When did the MacKness family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the MacKness family history?

MacKness comes from the ancient Dalriadan clans of Scotland's west coast and Hebrides islands. The name comes from the personal name Naos, which is a dialectal form of Aonghus or Angus. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Neis, which is derived from the earlier form Mac Naois; both of these mean son of Angus. Thus, the name MacKness is a cognate of MacAngus and MacInnes.

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The translation of Gaelic names in the Middle Ages was not a task undertaken with great care. Records from that era show an enormous number of spelling variations, even in names referring to the same person. Over the years MacKness has appeared as MacNeish, MacNeice, MacNish, MacNess, MacKness, MacNeece and many more.

First found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacKness research. Another 238 words(17 lines of text) covering the year 1522 is included under the topic Early MacKness History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early MacKness Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the MacKness family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 165 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

MacKness Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Mackness, English convict from Huntingdon, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia

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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: Animo non astutia
Motto Translation: By courage, not by craft.

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  1. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  11. ...

The MacKness Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The MacKness Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 January 2015 at 12:49.

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