Mc or Mac before the surname

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by seesul, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Does anyone know the origin of Mc or Mac before the surnames (as perhabs McCartney) or what does it mean? There´s a lot of such a surnames in Scotland but in USA as well.
    THX
     
  2. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Roman it is a bit confusing. my mother in-laws familie was MacWilliams when they settled from Scotland to the USA of A they were ordered to change it just plain Williams, like my mothers side that is Baer or Bär according to laws of sorts in Illinois so many years ago when they settled to become Americans they were told to turn their name to Bear, which they did not ! Mac is a surname for ........dang I cannot remember
     
  3. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Thanks Erich! But you don´t know what does it mean, yes?
     
  4. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    have it buried in the Familie history somewhere which I need to pull out soon
     
  5. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    MacWilliams? That's a Scottish and a Welsh name together!

    Apparantly it means "Son of."

    Surname prefixes
     
  6. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    >MacWilliams? That's a Scottish and a Welsh name together!

    Hm ... for a moment I thought MacSimowitz was Scottish and Serbian together ;)
     
  7. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Mac or Mc in Scottish Gaelic means "son of".

    There is no historical difference between Mac or Mc - they were originally used interchangeably and ancestry research on a particular family will often show records in one spelling , then later another. It is only in the latter half of the 1800's and in the 1900's that people started to get rather precious about " their" particular spelling of the surname.
     
  8. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Lucky,

    >It is only in the latter half of the 1800's and in the 1900's that people started to get rather precious about " their" particular spelling of the surname.

    Was it always used like a surname? One of my ancestors was an Ole Andersen (son of Anders) from Norway, and googling for family trees, I found one (different, unfortunately) Ole Andersen whose father's name had been Anders Olsen. Easy to guess the grandfather's name! :)

    So I wonder if the Scottish usage of Mac was at some time in history similar to the Scandinavian usage ...

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  9. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    I'd say so yes... You still find Anderson, Johnson here, I gues that you can find some linkage with the Scandinavians here and there, both in surnames and in the name of places around here...

    But as far as I know Mac and Mc has been going on for a long time, far back in history...
     
  10. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    Good one! Rather like the German Formula 1 driver who used to be in the Irish Jordan team.. Timo Glock became Tim O' Glock. :lol:
     
  11. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Thanks for the clear answer Lucky!!!:thumbleft:
     
  12. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Lucky,

    >But as far as I know Mac and Mc has been going on for a long time, far back in history...

    Was it always an inherited surname that remained "fixed" for several generations, or was it possible that the grandfather was named Douglas MacGregor, the son Robert MacDouglas and the grandson Gregor MacDouglas?

    That would be the Scandinavian pattern, but from what I've read about Scottish history, it might be a different concept, or at least the surnames became "fixed" much earlier than in Scandinavia.

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  13. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    No problem buddy, you're most welcome!

    I think that it was pretty much fixed, the surname... If, as you put it, the grandfather Douglas MacGregor had a son, he'd still be a MacGregor....
    I have no idea when "fixed" surnames like our Andersson, Johnsson, Persson, Eriksson etc. started in Sweden and similar names in Scandinavia, but I'd guess that it was rather early....
     
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