The ancestors of the McMaghan family come from the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. Their surname 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 McMaghan family
The surname McMaghan 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 McMaghan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McMaghan 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 McMaghan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McMaghan 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, McMaghan has been spelled Mathieson, MacMaghan, MacMathan MacMaken, Mathie, Mann and many more.
Early Notables of the McMaghan 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 McMaghan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McMaghan family to Ireland
Some of the McMaghan 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 McMaghan family to the New World and Oceana
Settlers from Scotland
put down roots in communities all along the east coast of North America. Some moved north from the American colonies to Canada as United Empire Loyalists during the American War of Independence
. As Clan
societies and highland games started in North America in the 20th century many Scots rediscovered parts of their heritage. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name McMaghan were among those contributors: 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 McMaghan 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.