This interesting surname is a variant of "McKay", which is found in Ireland and Scotland and is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic "Mac Aodha", composed of the Gaelic prefix "Mac", son of, and the personal name "Aodh", fire, originally the name of a Celtic pagan god. McKie itself is of considerable antiquity in Stirlingshire, Scotland. Traditionally, Gaelic family names are taken from the heads of tribes or some illustrious warrior, and are usually prefixed by "Mac" (as above), or "O", male descendant of. In the process of Anglicization "Mac Aodha" has acquired a great number of variant forms, including MacKea, MacKey, MacKee, MacCoy, McAy and MacHugh. In 1326 there is an entry of a payment by Gilchrist M'Ay, progenitor of the Mackays of Ugadale, to the constable of Tarbert, in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland. William Makke was a charter witness in a Scone Charter in 1491. The MacKies of Mid Galloway, a powerful and prosperous family of the 16th and early 17th Centuries, were enthusiastic supporters of the Covenant, although in 1606, Vthreid MacKie of Innermessene was "accused of slaughter", but apparently acquitted (Trials of Scotland, 1486 - 1660). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Cucail Mac Aedha, which was dated 1098, in "Manx Names", by Moore, during the reign of King Magnus 111 of Norway, known as "Barefoot", 1093 - 1103. 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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