Recorded in a number of spellings including Conachie, Conachy, Conaty and Conaghy, this notable Scots and Irish surname is a form of the Old Gaelic "MacDhonnchaidh", son of Donnchadh or Duncan. This was an ancient male given name ultimately derived from the pre 5th century Celtic "Donno-catus", with donn meaning brown, and cath, a battle warrior. On an ogham stone at Glan Usk near Crickhowel in Wales the name appears as "Dunocatus", which points to "fort warrior", from "dun", fort, and "catus" a warrior. The Clan Donnachie (Clann Donnchaidh) of Atholl, are so named from Donncha Reamhar (Duncan the Fat) de Atholia, who lived in the reign of Robert the Bruce (1306 - 1329). Three Argyllshire families were also known as "MacDhonnachie", the first, MacConchie of Inverawe, an old sept of the Campbells from whom the Macconnachies of Meadowbank in Midlothian are descended; the second, MacDhonnachie Mhor or Campbell of Duntroon, Argyllshire; and the third, MacDhonnachie of Glenfeochan. The Inverawe sept are descended from Donachie Campbell, son of Sir Neil Campbell who died before 1316, and Johnne M'Conquhie, alias Campbell, tutor of Inverawe, gave his bond of manrent in 1585. One John McConchei was burgess of Inverness in 1652, and on August 5th 1744, the christening of Hugh, son of John McConachie, took place at Kilfinan, Argyllshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Angus M'Conchie, who witnessed a sasine, which was dated 1493, in "Parochial Registers of Argyllshire", Scotland, 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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