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MacWhay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



MacWhay is an ancient Pictish-Scottish name. It 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 MacWhay is Mac Ai.

Early Origins of the MacWhay family


The surname MacWhay 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 MacWhay family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacWhay research.
Another 597 words (43 lines of text) covering the years 1408, 1411, 1429, 1329, 1506, 1575, 1873, 1940, 1640, 1692, 1689, 1726 and 1692 are included under the topic Early MacWhay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacWhay Spelling Variations


Translation has done much to alter the appearance of many Scottish names. It was a haphazard process that lacked a basic system of rules. Spelling variations were a common result of this process. MacWhay has appeared MacKay, MacCay, MacQuey, MacQuoid, MacKaw, MacKy, MacKye, MacCoy, McCoy and many more.

Early Notables of the MacWhay 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 MacWhay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the MacWhay family to Ireland


Some of the MacWhay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 253 words (18 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 MacWhay family to the New World and Oceana


Many Scots left their country to travel to the North American colonies in search of the freedom they could not find at home. Of those who survived the difficult voyage, many found the freedom they so desired. There they could choose their own beliefs and allegiances. Some became United Empire Loyalists and others fought in the American War of Independence. The Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up in the last century have allowed many of these disparate Scots to recover their collective national identity. A search of immigration and passenger ship lists revealed many early settlers bearing the MacWhay name: 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.

The MacWhay 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.


MacWhay Family Crest Products



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