The west coast of Scotland
and the rocky Hebrides
islands are the ancient home of the McMagghan family. The root of their name is 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 McMagghan family
The surname McMagghan 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 McMagghan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McMagghan 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 McMagghan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McMagghan Spelling Variations
Spelling and translation were not standardized practices until the last few centuries. Spelling variations
are extremely common among early Scottish names. McMagghan has been spelled Mathieson, MacMaghan, MacMathan MacMaken, Mathie, Mann and many more.
Early Notables of the McMagghan 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 McMagghan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McMagghan family to Ireland
Some of the McMagghan 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 McMagghan family to the New World and Oceana
Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence
, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan
societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first McMagghans to arrive in North America: 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 McMagghan 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.