This very rare and interesting surname is of Irish origin, and is an Anglicization of the Gaelic "MacPeice", meaning "son of Peic", a personal name of uncertain etymology, but thought to be originally derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "peac", meaning a thickset man. Traditionally, Irish family names are taken from the heads of tribes, or from some illustrious warrior, and are usually prefixed by "O", meaning "descendant of", or "Mac", denoting "son of". The surname is also found recorded in Scotland, and the variants include McPaik, McPeake, McPaike and McPike.The surname is usually found recorded in the Northern counties of Ireland; Fermanagh, Antrim and Tyrone. One James M'Pike, believed to have been born in Edinburgh, Scotland, circa 1750, emigrated to Baltimore in America around the year 1772. Recordings from Church Registers include the marriage of Charles McPake and Ann Brannan on November 14th 1852 at Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, and the birth of Thomas McPake on November 3rd 1865 at Irvinestown, County Fermanagh, Ireland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James McPeake, which was dated April 29th 1719, marriage to Catharine Logan, in County Antrim, Ireland, during the reign of King George 1 of England, known as "The First Hanoverian", 1714 - 1727. 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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