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Clan MacGhie


Thanks to James Pringle Weavers for the following information

MacGhie, MacGhee, Magee and the more Scottish MacKie, MacKee all derive from the ancient Celtic name of MagAoidh, son of Aodh or its nearest equivalent, Hugh. The vagaries of spelling has made it difficult for historians to be precise about geographical origins but the name was favoured by the High Kings of Ireland and was associated with the borders of Galway and Tyrone but moreso with Co.Antrim because the large isthmus to the east of Lough Larne is called Island Magee. It has been said that the Ulster MacGees are of Scottish extraction, having come to Ireland during the Plantation of Ulster in the early 17th Century but, much earlier, another version of the name was recorded in Scotland when Gilmighel MacEathe (later to become MacGeth and then MacGe) of Dumfries rendered homage in 1296 and in the following year he was thanked by Edward I "for putting down evildoers". The name continues to be recorded, in yet more variations, down through the years, as Magy in 1424 and in the same year John Makky had "safe conduct" in England. Gilbert M'Gy is styled as lord of Balmage in 1426 and Margaret M'Ghey signed a document in Auchtergavern in 1682. The name also gave rise to Mackay which is traceable anciently to Moray and Argyll but now associated with Caithness and Sutherland; and also to the Mackies who were prominent in Stirlingshire in the 15th Century. Mackies in Galloway were prosperous families in the 16th and 17th centuries and were ardent sopporters of the Covenanters. Wm. Makke witnessed a charter in Scone in 1491. Donald McKay had to answer a charge of violence and robbery in 1592. With such a variety of spellings many held lands, bore personal arms and sometimes held important positions and yet none, other than the Chief of Mackay, has been recognised in the chiefship of the kindred.


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