Recorded in many spelling forms including MacCaig, MacKaig, McCaig, McKag, McKage, McKague, McKeag and no doubt others, this is a Gaelic surname which can be either Scottish or Irish. It derives from the pre 10th century Mac Thoig, meaning the son of Tadhg, from the early Irish word for a poet or philsopher. The name is mainly found in Scotland in Ayrshire and Galloway, but also exists in Dumfriesshire. It is popular in the County of Galway in Eire, and in its various forms in Ulster. Early examples of the surname recordings include: Andrew McCaig, a follower of the Earl of Darnley (the second husband of Mary Queen of Scots) and who was killed with him in the blowing up of Kirk O'Field in 1567. Helen McKaig married one Jone Robertson of Edinburgh on July 10th 1668, while Archbald McKeag of Kintyre was arrested in 1685 for being a rebel. Sarah, daughter of Malachy and Ann McKeige, was christened at St. Andrew's, Holborn, London on September 11th 1763, Charlotte, the daughter of Michael McKigg, was also christened at the same place on December 8th 1771, and Edward McKag was a Famine Emigrant, who left Ireland for New York on the "coffin ship" St George of Liverpool, on August 3rd 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Makkaig, which was dated 1486, a Charter Witness at Wigtown, Scotland, during the reign of King James 111 of Scotland, 1460 - 1488. .
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