This Gaelic surname is of Scottish-Irish origin, and is one of the wide range of traditional spellings which has been through a course of continual development over the centuries. The original spelling was probably "MacFhearghuis", translating as "the son of Fergus", this being found in the Mull of Kintyre (Scotland) pre 1540 A.D., and then Anglicized to MacKery, MacCary, and MacKery. On November 18th 1660, for example, Richard MacKery was a christening witness in London. By the late 18th Century the name seems to have further changed to McCarery, one Sarah McCarery being recorded as marrying William James in London at St. Brides church, Fleet Street, on January 26th 1783. The "modern" spelling variants would seem to include: McCorry, McKeary, McKerry, McCeary, McCarey and MaKerey, these also being plantation names in Ireland. Further variant spellings developed following the enforced emigration from Ireland after the Great Famine of 1846 - 1848. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John M'Kearrois, which was dated 1575, a charter witness at Inverness, during the reign of King James V1 of Great Britain, 1567 - 1625. 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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