Recorded in several forms including MacCoid, MacQuade, MacQuaid, MacQuode, as well as the short forms commencing Mc, and sometimes without any prefix at all, as Coid, Coyd, Quade, Quaid and Quoid, this is a Gaelic surname of considerable complexity. It is probably ultimately of pre 7th century Germanic origins, and a developed form of the personal name Gwalt or Gwalter, the later Walter, from which in Ireland developed by mysterious means the 12th century Gaelic MacUaid, and in time the modern Maccoid, Macquade and others in the 14th century. However this is not absolutely proven. In Scotland it is said that the development was to MacWatt or MacQuatt, which seems relatively logical. What we do know for certain is that Gwalt and Gwalter were introduced into both England and Scotland after the Invasion of England in 1066, and into Ireland after the invasion by Strongbow, early of Pembroke, in1170. Gilbert MacWat is recorded as a king's messenger in Scotland in the year 1455, whilst in Ireland as McQuode and McQuade the surname is recorded in the Hearth Tax rolls of 1674 for the counties of Monaghan and Armagh. Both these counties were much associated with Scotland in former times. This surname is also well recorded in the USA, and it is known that over one hundred nameholders left Ireland during the infamous Potato Famine of 1846 - 1848. The first of these was James McQuade, on the ship Patrick-Henry of Liverpool. This left Belfast Lough, Ireland, on April 26th 1846.
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