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McBay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



The western coast of Scotland and the desolate Hebrides islands are the ancient home of the McBay 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 McBay family


The surname McBay 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 McBay family


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

McBay Spelling Variations


Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, McBay has been spelled McBeth, Beaton, Beeton, MacBeth, MacBeaton, McBee and many more.

Early Notables of the McBay family (pre 1700)


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

Migration of the McBay family to the New World and Oceana


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McBay Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • William McBay, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Prudence" in 1838

Contemporary Notables of the name McBay (post 1700)


  • Clint McBay, American bass musician, member of the band Puller in the mid-1990s
  • Aric McBay, American author, best known as a co-author of Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet
  • Henry Ransom Cecil McBay (1914-1994), American multiple award winning chemist, teacher and inventor

The McBay 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


McBay Family Crest Products



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