Recorded in several forms including MacQuade, MacQuaid, and MacQuode, as well as the short forms commencing Mc, and sometimes without any prefix at all, as Quade and Quaid, this is a Gaelic surname of some complexity. It was probably of Scottish origins, although even then the ultimate origin is probably pre 10th century French or German. The modern spellings are developed forms of the Gaelic MacUaid, said to have been recorded in Ireland in the 14th century, although we have no definate proof. In Scotland it is recorded as MacWatt or MacQuatt, and however spelt, all names are believed to originate from the personal name Wat, itself a medieval short form of the French-German "Walter". This name was introduced into both England and Scotland after the Invasion of England in 1066. Gilbert MacWat is recorded as a king's messenger in Scotland in the year 1455, whilst in Ireland the surname appears in the modern spellings 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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