This long-established surname, of Scottish and Irish origin, is an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic "MagAoidh", son of Aodh, from "Mac", son of (usually written as "Mag" before a vowel), and the Celtic male given name Aodh, "fire" or "fire-spring", originally the name of a pagan god. In the course of Anglicization "MagAoidh" has acquired many variant forms, early examples of same being: McGeth (Kircudbrith, 1331); Michael Macge or Mageth, landholder in Galloway, who was admitted to the king's peace by Edward 111 in 1339; and John Makky, who had a safe conduct to England in 1424. Robert Macgye (M'Gy, Macge or Magy), noted in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, was the king's mime, 1444 - 1449, and Mungo Makghe was entered in the Register of ministers and readers in the Kirk of Scotland, dated 1574. The Galwegian family called Macghie, gave their name to Balmaghie (Macghie's town). In early medieval times a MacGee was chief of a sept in the Leinster county of Westmeath, but the Gaelic Irish family of the name belong originally to the country on the borders of the Ulster counties of Donegal and Tyrone. Many of the Ulster McGhees are, however, of Scottish extraction, having come to Ireland during the Plantation of that province in the early 17th Century. James McGhee, aged 20 yrs., who embarked from Liverpool on the ship "Cornelia" on November 23rd 1846, was an Irish Famine emigrant to New York. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gille Michel MacGethe, which was dated 1296, in "Early Medieval Records of Scotland", during the reign of King Edward 1 of England (Interregnum in Scotland, 1296 - 1306), 1272 - 1307.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017