Tartan Tuesdays - MacKay Clan
Forget Throwback Thursdays. Here, at Scotweb, we're doing Tartan Tuesdays!
This week we look at the MacKay Tartan and learn all about the clan.
The tartan pictured is our 16oz, double width, pure new wool MacKay Modern Tartan.
For other variants of the MacKay Tartan, click here: https://www.scotweb.co.uk/tartan/MacKay/20505?filter_searchterm=mackay
The MacKay Clan is an ancient, and once powerful, Scottish clan. The clan comes from the far north, in the Scottish Highlands, but has roots in the old province of Moray.
The name âMacKayâ comes from the Gaelic âMac Aoidh,â meaning âSon of Aodh.â or âSon of Fireâ. The feminine form is âNic Aoidh,â meaning âDaughter of Aoidh.â or âDaughter of Fireâ.
See the bottom of this article for all septs connected to this clan.
The motto for this clan crest is 'Manu Forti' which means 'with a
Origins of the Clan
The MacKays are believed to descend from the ancient tribes, that existed in Scotland, called the Picts. The name is also found from ancient times in Holland, where the MacKays became noted for their many branches in the region. Each house acquiring a status and influence that was envied by the princess of the region.
The MacKay name is also found in Ireland, from ancient times. Several tribes from the northern area of Ireland, which was once part of one of the ancient Scottish kingdoms known as DÃ¡l Riata, moved across the sea to Scotland.
The MacKays in Scotland were seated in Strathnaver, north of Sutherland.Although the exact origin of the Clan MacKay is unknown, it is generally accepted that they belonged to the early Celtic population of Scotland
The MacKay clan played a powerful force in politics, beginning in the 14th century, supporting Robert the Bruce. MacKays became famous for strength, courage and skill in soldiering and were involved in endless clan battles against the Keiths, Rosses, Gunns, Sinclairs, Sutherlands and others, and wars abroad.
In the centuries that followed, they were very anti-Jacobite. They played an important role in the military activities of both Scotland and Europe. The Highland Clearances had dire ramifications for the clan, but since then they have spread throughout the world and have provided it with many famous and influential descendants.
Varrich Castle was the ancient seat of the chief of Clan MacKay, but the chief later moved to Tongue House.
The MacKay homeland is Strathnaver, extending along
the north coast from Caithness in the east, through Ross and
Cromarty, to Cape Wrath in the west. The southerly extent was the
country of Sutherland.
The âClan Tuneâ is The MacKayâs March. The MacKay clan has been associated with piping since time immemorial and the MacKays were hereditary pipers to the MacKenzies. Kenneth MacKay became famous at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 by playing War or Peace in front of the regimental square of the Cameron Highlanders during a cavalry charge.
Although pipers were not officially recognized as such until 1854, a MacKay piper was the first piper known to have served in a regular British army unit. In 1633, the piper was transferred from the (continental) Scots Brigate to the (later) Royal Scots.
Clan Septs and Variant Spellings
The following surnames are historically related and may also wear these tartans.
Allan, Allanson, Aue, Ave, Ay, Aye, Bain, Baine, Baines, Bane, Bayin, Bayn, Bayne, Baynes, Baynne, Bean, Beanes, Beine, Bene, Bhaine, Caw, Coid, Fail, Fall, Heth, Kay, Key, Macallan, Macallane, Macaoidh, Macath, Macaw, Macay, Macbain, Macca, Maccaa, Maccaidh, Maccaoidh, Maccaw, Maccawe, Maccay, Maccey, Maccoid, Maccoy, Maccrie, Maccue, Maceda, Maceth, Macethe, Macfaell, Macfail, Macfal, Macfale, Macfall, Macfaul, Macfauld, Macfaull, Macfayle, Macfoill, Macfyall, Macgaa, Macgaw, Macgee, Macghee, Macghie, Macheth, Machie, 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, Macque, Macquery, Macquey, Macquhae, Macquid, Macquiod, Macquoid, Macvail, Macvain, Macvale, Macvane, 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, Pollard, Pollsoun, Polson, Polsone, Polsoun, Polsun, Polyson, Polysoun, Poulson, Quaid, Quay, Quoid, Reay, Scobie, Strathnaver, Vail, Williamson.