McKay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The Picts were the ancient Scottish tribe where the ancestors of the McKay family lived. The name McKay comes 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 McKay is Mac Ai.

"Nothing certain is known of the origin of the northern Mackays beyond the fact that they were early connected with Moray, and may have been a part of the ancient Clann Morgunn. The Inverness-shire Mackays are usually called in Gaelic Mac Ai, that is, MacDhai, or Davidson; they formed a branch of Clan Chattan." [1]

Early Origins of the McKay family

The surname McKay 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.

Important Dates for the McKay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKay research. Another 299 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1408, 1411, 1429, 1329, 1506, 1575, 1873, 1940, 1640, 1692, 1689, 1726, 1692 and are included under the topic Early McKay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McKay Spelling Variations

Before the first dictionaries appeared in the last few hundred years, scribes spelled according to sound. spelling variations are common among Scottish names. McKay has been spelled MacKay, MacCay, MacQuey, MacQuoid, MacKaw, MacKy, MacKye, MacCoy, McCoy and many more.

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

Migration of the McKay family to Ireland

Some of the McKay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 133 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McKay migration to the United States

In those unstable times, many had no choice but to leave their beloved homelands. Sickness and poverty hounded travelers to North America, but those who made it were welcomed with land and opportunity. These settlers gave the young nations of Canada and the United States a strong backbone as they stood up for their beliefs as United Empire Loyalists and in the American War of Independence. In this century, the ancestors of these brave Scots have begun to recover their illustrious heritage through Clan societies and other heritage organizations. Early passenger and immigration lists reveal many Scottish settlers bearing the name McKay:

McKay Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Melashus McKay, aged 22, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [2]
McKay Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary McKay, who landed in New York in 1738 [2]
  • Merran McKay, who landed in New York in 1739 [2]
  • Florence McKay, who arrived in New York in 1739 [2]
  • Agnes McKay, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1739 [2]
  • Duncan McKay, who arrived in New York, NY in 1740 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
McKay Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Nancy McKay, aged 40, who landed in New York, NY in 1804 [2]
  • Alexander McKay, aged 21, who landed in New York, NY in 1804 [2]
  • Bernard McKay, who arrived in America in 1811 [2]
  • Edward McKay, aged 31, who landed in New York in 1812 [2]
  • Eliza McKay, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

McKay migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McKay Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Alexander, Christopher and Christian McKay, who, who arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1773
  • Roderick McKay, who landed in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1773
  • Alex McKay, who arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1773
  • Catherine McKay, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1773
  • Catherine McKay, who landed in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1773
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
McKay Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ann McKay, aged 12, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Archibald McKay, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Bara McKay, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Donald McKay, aged 17, who landed in Red River, Canada in 1811
  • Elizabeth McKay, who arrived in Red River, Canada in 1812
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

McKay migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

McKay Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George McKay, aged Mary, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838 [3]
  • Thomas McKay, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairfield" in 1839 [4]
  • Peter McKay, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Indus" in 1839 [5]
  • Barbara McKay, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Recovery" in 1839 [6]
  • Gordon McKay, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1839 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

McKay migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McKay Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Donald McKAY, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Blenheim
  • Henry McKAY, who landed in Foveaux Straits, New Zealand in 1840
  • John McKAY, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Blenhein
  • Thomas McKAY, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • John McKay, aged 52, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name McKay (post 1700)

  • Donald McKay (1810-1880), American shipbuilder, born in Nova Scotia, designer of many of the largest ships of his era
  • Rick McKay (1961-2018), American filmmaker, best known for his work on Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There
  • Raymond T. McKay (1925-1993), American labor leader, President of American Maritime Officers (1957-1993)
  • Jim McKay, American film and television director, producer and writer
  • Cheryl McKay, American author and screenwriter
  • Cody Dean McKay (b. 1974), American former Major League Baseball catcher
  • James Douglas McKay (1893-1959), twenty-fifth Governor of Oregon
  • Claude McKay (1889-1948), American poet and novelist, born in Jamaica, who became a major figure of the Harlem Renaissance
  • George Cadogan Gardner McKay (1932-2001), American actor and writer
  • Jim McKay (b. 1921), American television sports journalist
  • ... (Another 15 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the McKay family

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Ms. Ms. Desiree McKay, American Flight attendant from New York, USA who died in the crash [8]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Maggie  McKay (1855-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [9]
  • Mr. Lloyd  McKay (1900-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [9]
HMAS Sydney II
HMS Prince of Wales

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Citations

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CANTON 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838Canton.htm
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) FAIRFIELD 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Fairfield.htm
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) INDUS 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Indus.htm
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) RECOVERY from London 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Recovery.htm
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SIR CHARLES FORBES (originally Charles Forbes) 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839SirCharlesForbes.htm
  8. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  9. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  10. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  11. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
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