Recorded in several forms as shown below, this is a surname of Olde Gaelic origins, from the region known as Galloway, in South West Scotland. Also well recorded in Ireland, It derives from the pre 10th century Mac Miadhachain, meaning the son of young Miadhaeh. The latter was an early personal name meaning honourable, quite unusual for Gaelic clan surnames, which tend to be nicknames for the first chief or nameholders, and quite brutally frank. As an example the famous Kennedy clan originate from a chieftain known to his many followers as "ugly head!" In this case the early recordings include examples such as Finlai Makmaykin also recorded as M' Makin in Wigtownshire in 1456, whilst William McMeekan was a christening witness at Templepatrick, County Antrim, Northgern Ireland, on March 20th 1815.It is claimed that in the modern spellings there are at least fifteen forms including MacMeekin, MacMeeking, MacMeeken, MacMechan, MacMickan, MacMychem, MacMackin, as well as all the short forms commencing Mc. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gillecrist Mak Makin or M'Maykin. He was a charter witness, and dated 1185 in the Book of St. Mary of Melrose, Scotland, during the reign of King William, known as The Lion of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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