Recorded as MacBlain, MacBlayne, the short foms commening Mc and the forms with no prefix such as Blain, Blaine, Blane, and Blayne, this is a Scottish surname. Chiefly recorded in Ayrshire and Wigtownshire, it derives from the pre 10t century Old Gaelic "Mac Gille Blaan", meaning the son of the follower of St. Blaan. The translation is from from "Mac", son of, "gille", a follower, and the saint's name Blaan, a diminutive of "bla", meaning sallow. St. Blaan was a 6th century bishop whose feast day is on August 10th. He was born on the island of Bute, and is said to have been the son of Etha, the sister of St. Cathan. Having completed his education under St. Cathan, he founded a monastery at Dunblane, and worked among the Picts. One Gilcomgal mac Gilblaan witnessed a grant by Ranulfus filius Dunegal, in 1124, of his hermitage in Dumfries to the Hospital of St. Peter of York. John McBlaine, was recorded in Irvine in 1500, and in 1539, Nicholas M'Blane was the burgess of Wigtown. Recordings of the surname, showing the omission of the "Mac" prefix include: Patrick Blane, provost of the burgh of Wigtown in 1561, and John Blain, who had a charter of half of the ten-mark lands of Meikle-Wig in the parish of Whithorn in 1674. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of M'Blane (first name not noted), which was dated 1473, in "Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer", during the reign of King James 111 of Scotland, 1460 - 1488. 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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