The Clan History
The name MacKay takes its origins from the gaelic "Macaoidh" or "son of Hugh". The identity of this Hugh is uncertain but the name probably derives from a member of the ancient Celtic royal house, whose branches disputed the throne in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
The MacKays also have strong links with the progeny of Queen Gruoch, who was married to MacBeth.
By the fourteenth century, the clan MacKay was well established in the most northerly and remote area of Scotland - their land extending from Cape Wrath along the north coast to Caithness. This land was known as Strathnaver.
The MacKay clan were both numerous and powerful and theirs is a history of continual strife with their neighbours. After five centuries of dispute, they finally lost their lands to the Sutherlands in the nineteenth century. The importance of the clan at this time is best illustrated by the marriage of Angus Dubh MacKay with the grand-daughter of Robert II, and important political alliance.
The warlike reputation of the clan is echoed in the family motto, "with a strong hand".
The military tradition of the family continued with 3000 MacKay clansmen fighting in the 30 Years War, and also providing a fighting force alongside William of Orange.
During the nineteenth century, the clan MacKay suffered greatly as a result of the Highland clearances, and by 1875 the direct line of the clan had died out, with the entire MacKay country being in the hands of the Lords of Sutherland.
Motto: Manu forti - "With a strong hand".
Badge: A hand holding a dagger.
Septs of the Clan: Allan, Allanson, Bain, Bayne, Kay, Key, MacAllan, MacBain, MacCaa, MacCaw, MacCay, MacGaa, MacGaw, MacGee, MacGhee, MacGhie, MacKay, MacKee, Mackie, MacPhail, MacQue, MacQuey, MacQuoid, MacVail, MacVain, MacVane, Morgan, Neilson, Nelson, Paul, Pole, Poleson, Pollard, Polson, Reay, Scobie, Williamson.
Names associated with the clan: Aue Ave Ay Aye Bain Baine Baines Bane Bayin Bayn Bayne Baynes Baynne Bean Beanes Beine Bene Bhaine Caw Coid Fail Fall Heth MacAllan MacAllane MacAoidh MacAth MacAw MacAy MacCa MacCaa MacCaidh MacCaoidh MacCaw MacCawe MacCay MacCey MacCoid MacCoy MacCue MacEda MacEth MacEthe MacFaell MacFail MacFal MacFale MacFall MacFaul MacFauld MacFaull MacFayle MacFoill MacFyall MacGaa MacGaw MacHeth MacIye MacKa MacKaa MacKaay MacKai MacKau MacKaw MacKawe MacKay MacKe MacKeay MacKee MacKeiy MacKew MacKey MacKie MacKphaill MacKy MacKye MacPaill MacPaul MacPhael MacPhaell MacPhail MacPhaile MacPhaill MacPhale MacPhaul MacPhaull MacPhayll MacPhell MacPhial MacPhiel MacQha MacQua MacQuade MacQuaid MacQuey MacQuhae MacQuid MacQuiod MacVail MacVale MacWhaugh MacWhaw MacWhey MacWhy MacYe Makaw Makay Makca Makcaw Makcawe Makcoe Makfaill Makfale Makfele Makie Makkaw Makkcae Makke Makkee Makkey Makkie Makphaile Maky Morgan Morgund Murgan Neelson Neillsone Neilson Neilsone Neilsoun Neilsoune Neleson Nelesoun Nelson Nelsone Nelsonne Nelsoun Neylsone Nickphaile Nielson Nilson Nilsone Nilsoune Nylson Pal Paul Paule Paull Paulson Paulsoun Poilson Poilsone Poilsoun Pol Pole Poleson Pollsoun Polson Polsone Polsoun Polsun Polyson Polysoun Poulson Quaid Quay Quoid Reay Strathnaver Vail
Present your clan badge/crest in a most unique and attractive way by choosing a Scottish Clan Shield by Rowan Heraldic Shields!