This most interesting surname is probably of Scots-Gaelic origin, and is a Scottish topographical name for a dweller by the river "Meig", which flows through Glen Evaig in the former county of Ross and Cromarty, Scotland, and probably derives from the Old Gaelic word "magh", a level field, plain. There is also a place called "Meigh", near Newry, Co. Armagh. Another possible derivation for the surname is that it is a contracted form of "Meighan", a variant of the Anglicized Gaelic name "Meehan", from "miadhach", honourable. The surname first appears in London Church Registers at the beginning of the 17th Century (see below), while Elizabeth, daughter of Moses and Elizabeth Meigh, was christened on July 25th 1720 at St. Sepulchre's, London. Joseph, son of Josiah Meigh, was christened on November 26th 1760 at West Hallam, Derbyshire. A Coat of Arms, granted to Job Meigh, Esq, of Ash Hall, Staffordshire in 1840, depicts on a cross engraved between four silver boars' heads erased, three blackbirds in fesse proper and two silver crosses pattee at the foot, on a red field, with the Motto "Benigno Numine" (By benign Providence). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Meighe, which was dated December 24th 1602, a christening witness at St. Giles', Cripplegate, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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