This is a very rare Scottish surname, although one which was also recorded for a time in County Monaghan, Ireland. The origination is from the Olde Gaelic Mac an Tsamhaigh, which translates as 'the son of' (mac) the peaceful and pleasant one (samhach) - the latter being in effect a very early personal name. One of the curiosities of this name is that whilst the origin is very old, the recordings are both late and few in number, and not found in Ireland at all. The name recordings include William McTavy, christened at East Kilbride on July 19th 1859, he was the son of Barney McTavie who married Mary Clerk or Clark on September 9th 1854. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes McTavy, which was dated July 17th 1834, married Daniel McCluskie at Barony, Lancashire, during the reign of King William IV, The Sailor King, 1830 - 1837. 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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