The surname Mackey is Irish in origin. This surname and many of its variations are found mainly in the counties of Antrim, Armagh and Down. Essentially, a “patronymic” surname is derived from the father’s name, however, variations in pronunciation due to the natural process of evolution of the language or the regional dialects often lead to alterations of the original name, as in the case of Mackey, which is an anglicisation of “Mac Aodha” or “Mac Aoidh” which means “Son of Hughs”. It was the original name of the Scottish Clan MacKay or Clann Aodh. Written documents are an easy prey for the natural destructiveness of time; thus it is often no mean task to discover records of some of the earliest individuals who used a particular surname. In the case of Mackay, however, meticulous investigations have yielded most interesting results: at the beginnig of the 13th century this clan became prominent in Sutherland, and by the early 15th century there was a certain Angus Dow MacKay, a chief who could muster four thousand men, which shows how powerful they were at this time. Centuries ago, many families displayed mottoes – concise phrases which might express anything from a pun on the name to a relig…
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