This notable surname recorded in a number of spellings including MacIntyre, McIntyre, McAteer and McInteer, is of early medieval Scottish origin. It is an anglicized form of the Old Gaelic "Mac and tSaoir". The Gaelic prefix "Mac" denotes "son of", with the definite article "an", and "Saoir", the genitive of "Saor", meaning a craftsman or mason. The McIntyre clan were hereditary foresters to the Stewarts of Lorn, Argyllshire, and later to the Campbells of Lorn, and historically they appear always to have been subordinate to the chiefs of Upper Lorn. Glenoe (also written as Glencoe) near Bunawe, Nether Lorn, was the county of this sept. Gillechrist M'Yntir was a witness at Rothesay, Buteshire, in 1490, and the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland record that in 1504 the ferry of Conane was leased to one Ferquhard McYnter, and in 1506, Gildaw MaKintare had a Crown grant of a third of Dunallirde, Buteshire. On August 6th 1766, John, son of John McIntyre and Janet Simson, was christened in Burntisland, Fifeshire. A Coat of Arms granted to the M'Intyre family of Glenoe, Scotland, is a shield divided quarterly: a red eagle displayed, armed and langued sable, is on the first and fourth gold quarters, a galley, her sails furled sable, flags red, is depicted on the second silver quarter, and a red sinister hand couped fesseways, holding a cross crosslet fitchee sable, appears in the third silver quarter. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas Mac in tsair, which was dated 1268, in "The Scottish Macs Paisley", by J.B. Johnston, during the reign of King Alexander 111 of Scotland, 1249 - 1286. 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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