Recorded as O' Markey, Markey and Markie, this is usually a clan surname of Gaelic Irish origins. If so it derives from the pre 10th century name O' Marcaigh meaning "The son of the descendant of the rider," although who the rider was, and what part he played in history seems to have been lost in the mists of time. Traditionally Irish clan names were nick or descriptive names for the original chief of the clan, and this is certainly no exception. Horses were not generally used by the ancient Irish, and it is possible that this name may have described a Viking or perhaps an Irishman trained as horeseman by the Vikings. Popular myth would have these people purely associated with the sea, the word Viking means seafarer, but in fact they were very keen horsemen. They almost certainly introduced horses to Ireland when they conquered large sections of the country between the 8th to the 11th century, with Dublin, being their headquarters. The Markey clan, the O' was generally dropped in the 17th century, are generally from County Louth although with branches in County Monaghan. The first recording is believed to be that of Robert O' Markey who was outlawed in County Tipperary in 1302.
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