This interesting and unusual surname is of Irish and Scottish origin, and is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "MacCuind(i)lis", a patronymic from the personal name "Cuindleas", of uncertain origin, however, it may refer to a hound. The surname is very well recorded in Ulster; this would indicate that the personal name was introduced into Ireland by the Gallowglasses, who were mercenary soldiers from Scotland, who came to Ulster in 1258. The surname development since 1617 (see below) includes the following: Jannet Candlish (1729 Scotland), Candleis (1684, Scotland), William Mc Candlish (1791, Edinburgh) and George McCandless (1867, Ireland).The modern surname can be found as McCandless, McCandlish and C(h)andlish. James McCandless married Jane Hutcheson on July 28th 1853 in Culdaff, County Donegal, Ireland. The christening was recorded in Scotland of Michael, son of Robert McCandless and Rose Mooney, on September 27th 1869 at Edinburgh, Midlothian. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robart Candless (marriage to Mary Chester), which was dated April 23rd 1617 St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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