This interesting and unusual surname, recorded in English church registers under the variant spellings Macheath, Machath and Macke(i)th, is an anglicized form of two Scots Gaelic patronymics, the first being mac Aeda, i.e., "son of Aed", from the old Gaelic Aodh meaning "Fire", originally the name of a pagan god. One, Denneth Mac Aht or Mac Ath, "an enemy of the king of Scotland", recorded in Early Sources of Scottish History, 1168 -1215, is believed to have been a son of Malcolm Macheth, (below). Mackett may also be a patronymic from the Gaelic "Mac-Shithich", son of the wolf, from the old Gaelic "sithech", wolf. One, Donal McKethe, noted in the "Exchequer Rolls of Scotland", was a crown tenant in Eddirgolle in 1480. On February 11th 1576 Richard Mackett and Agnes Startut were married in St. Dunstan's, in the East, London. Thomas Mackett, an infant, was christened in Folkestone, Kent, on October 15th 1585, and on August 25th 1748 Robert Mackett and Mary Browne were married in Merton, Surrey. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Malcolm Mac Heth, first earl of Ross, which was dated circa 1157, "Charter Witnesses of Dunfermline Abbey", during the reign of King Malcolm 1V of Scotland, 1153 - 1165. 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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