Recorded as MacVicar, McVicar, and the phonetic MacQuaker or McQuaker, this interesting surname, widespread in Argyllshire, is of medieval Scottish origin. It is a form of the original Gaelic "M'Bhiocair" or "Mac an Bhiocair". The prefix "mac" means "son of", with the definite article "an", and "Biocar", vicar; hence, "son of the Vicar". The surname first appears on record in the latter part of the 15th Century (see below). Early examples of recordings include: Donald owyr Makfikar (Kilravock, 1502); Mr. Archibald M'Yvicare who appears as provost of the Collegiate Church of Kilmond in 1529, and Nevin Makvicar, charter witness of lands in the barony of Phantelane, Argyllshire, in 1543. Sir Niall McVicar was rector of Lochawe, Argyllshire, in 1555, and in 1580, Schir Newyne M'Vicar was "commissar of Ergile". John MacQuaker appears in the registers of Penningham in 1684, and is believed to be the first known recording of the name. The McVicar clan were originally closely associated with the Macnaughtons, and afterwards appear to have followed the Campbells of Argyll. A standing-stone, formerly on the lawn of the castle of Inveraray, was said to mark the old march between the Macvicars and the Macivers. In 1812, Robert McVicar of Mull, Argyllshire, emigrated to York Factory on Hudson Bay and settled at Red River on October 27th 1812. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James Makuecar, burgess of Glasgow, which was dated 1488, in the "Ecclesiastical Registers of Glasgow", 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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