Last name: MacCracken

This name derives from an old Galloway (Scotland) surname MacNaughton, later MacNeachtain, which owing to dialectal processes in Ulster became MacReachtain (the interchange of the initial 'n' and 'r' is characteristic of Ulster). The name now exists as M(a)cCrackan, MacCracken, MacCrachen and MacCraken - all due to further dialectal transposition. 'Mc' is a foreshortening of the Gaelic 'Mac' meaning a son and the personal name Naughton (Naughten was a God of water and of the sea in Gaelic mythology). The MacNaughtons migrated from Scotland to Antrim in the 14th century.The Coat of Arms most associated with this Sept has the blazon of a black shield, thereon an escutcheon chequy silver and blue, between three lion's heads erased of the second. The Crest being a lion's head, as in the arms, with the motto: Omnia fortunae committo translating as "I commit all things to fortune". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Donald MacNachtane (Dean of Dunkeld), which was dated 1431, in the Papal Registers of Great Britian and Ireland, during the reign of King James 1, (House of Stuart) 1406 - 1437. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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