Recorded in a number of spellings as shown below, this is a Gaelic surname. It can be Scottish or sometimes Irish, and derives from the ancient name Mac Miadhachain, meaning 'The son of the son of the honourable one'. This is from the word and personal name Miadhaeh, meaning fair and honourable. Most Gaelic surnames are patronymics and often nicknames, given to the first leader or chief of the clan, and this is no exception. It is first recorded in Scotland in the latter half of the 12th century, see below, and other early recordings include Jenette filia Makmechum who sold a parcel of land in the parish of Kirkmabreck in 1496, and Alexander McMychin also recorded as Makmechane, who appears in the list of criminal trials in Scotland in the year 1513. In the modern idiom the name has no less than fifteen spellings including MacMeekin, MacMeeken, and MacMechan, and the short or fused forms commencing Mc. As an example James McMeekin and Margaret Drysdale were married at Giles Edinburgh on July 7th 1840. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gillecrist Mak Makin or M'Maykin. He was a charter witness, in the register of the abbey of St. Mary of Melrose, in 1185. This was during the reign of King William Ist of of Scotland, known as The Lion, 1165 - 1214. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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