Recorded as MacCormac, MacCormack, McCormack, McCormick and Cormack, this is a surname of Scottish origins, and one well recorded in Ireland, and particularly in Ulster. It derives from the pre 10th century Gaelic personal name "Cormac", for which there are two possible meanings. The first is "The raven", from the word "corb", raven and the fused "mac", meaning son of, and the second "The charioteer", from an even the earlier celtic word also spelt "corb" and again with the fused mac. Gaelic and Celtic surbnames were almost invariably patronymic and have developed over the many centuries from an original nickname for the first chief of the clan. Not surprisingly most of these "founder members" were reowned for some warrior like deeds, although as to what these were, has almost always been lost in the mists of time. In this cases early recordings include Gilbert McCormoc in the "Acts of the Lords of Council in Civil Causes" for Scotland in 1478 - 1495", Gilbert M'Cormac of Barley in 1696, whilst Elizabeth McCormack married Wiliam Ritchie at Cupar, Fife on the 12th April 1849. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gillecrist MacCormaic. This was dated 1132, in the Book of Deer, during the reign of King David I of Scotland, 1124 - 1153. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation, and hroughout the centuries, have continued to "develop," often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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