This unusual name is probably a classic example of transposition by a combination of dialect and spelling. The origination is Gaelic, the derivation being from "Mac Aodha", translating as "the son of Hugh". The modern name form is an anglicization which may be Irish or Scottish, and the "links" are with the late medieval M'Quha, Mac Wha and Mac Whae - names found in Ulster and the West of Scotland. The name recordings and the "link" spellings include Janet McQuhae of Wigtonshire in 1656. Margaret Mac Whae of Borgue in 1684, whilst on January 24th 1846, Samuel Mewha married Agnes Craig at Ballymena, Co. Antrim, and Thomas Mewha married Harriet Iddin at Manchester Cathedral, on April 23rd 1851, the year of the Great Exhibition in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William M'why, which was dated 1436, a charter witness at Cawdor, Scotland, during the reign of King James 1 of Scotland, 1406 - 1437. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017