On the Scottish west coast, the MacMagghan family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. Their name comes from the son of Matthew.
In Gaelic, the name was spelled M'Mhathain
The latter names in Gaelic were probably derived from Mac Mhathghamhuin
which means son of the bear.
Indeed, early references of the name have reference to the Scottish bear.
Early Origins of the MacMagghan family
The surname MacMagghan was first found in the Scottish Highlands were they could be found in Lochalsh, Lochcarron and Kintail. They are said to descend from Gilleoin of the ancient and royal house of Lorne. They gave their allegiance to the Clan
MacDonald, the Lord of the Isles. Kenneth MacMathan (Cormac Mac Mathian) was the constable of Eilean Donan castle and is recorded in most accounts of the invasion of King Haakon IV of Norway against Scotland
in the 13th century. One accounts suggests that McMathan and his clansmen fought under the Earl of Ross, defeating Haaken at Largs in 1263. There is a record of Kermac Macmaghan in Inverness, receiving 20 cows from the Earl of Ross in 1264.
Early History of the MacMagghan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacMagghan research.Another 835 words (60 lines of text) covering the years 1263, 1400, 1411, 1427, 1498, 1514, 1427, 1600, 1539, 1570, 1631, 1688, 1715, 1719, 1820, 1851, 1683, 1796, 1878, 1851 and 1963 are included under the topic Early MacMagghan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacMagghan Spelling Variations
In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations
appear in records of early Scottish names. MacMagghan has appeared as Mathieson, MacMaghan, MacMathan MacMaken, Mathie, Mann and many more.
Early Notables of the MacMagghan family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan
from early times was Margaret Matson, one of two women tried in Philadelphia for witchcraft in 1683; Sir James Nicolas Sutherland
Matheson (1796-1878), born in Shiness, Lairg, who made a great fortune in the opium trade, and was created the 1st Baronet
in 1851. His... Another 70 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacMagghan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacMagghan family to Ireland
Some of the MacMagghan family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 49 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 MacMagghan family to the New World and Oceana
These settlers arrived in North America at a time when the east was burgeoning with prosperous colonies and the expanses of the west were just being opened up. The American War of Independence
was also imminent. Some Scots stayed to fight for a new country, while others who remained loyal went north as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of them went on to rediscover their heritage in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic Scottish events. The MacMagghan were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Alexander Matheson, who arrived in Boston in 1736; Charles Matheson, who came to Nova Scotia in 1773; John Matheson, who settled in Pictou, N.S. in 1773.
The MacMagghan 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: Fac et Spera
Motto Translation: Do and hope.