INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF HISTORY
The name Mackay is derived from the
gaelic "Macaoidh" or "son of Hugh" .
Some historians have advised that the Mackays claim decent
from the Royal House of Moray through the line of Morgund of
Pluscarden and were originally known as Clan Morgan. This relationship
with Clan Morgan is probably mythical. Around 710 A.D. a tribe
known as the C'nel Lorne left Ireland to land in what is now
known as Argyll in Scotland. This tribe is believed to be the
progenitors of Clann MacAoidh. The C'nel Lorne are descended
from Aedh, grand-son of the Irish king N'iall.
In 1160, Malcom IV removed the Clan, with other Moraymen,
north to Ross, where they spread to Sutherland. They fought for
Robert Bruce, king of Scotland, at the battle of Bannockburn
on 24th June 1314. It was from the great-grandson of the Chief
who fought for Bruce that the Clan took its name. In 1427 Angus
Dubh Mackay was described as a leader of four thousand Strathnaver
Strathnaver is said to
be the ancestral home of the Mackays. It is a region in the very
north-west of Scotland, corresponding to the northern part of
the modern county of Sutherland. The Mackays at one time possessed
the stretch of land known as "Lord Reay's Country"
from Drimholisten to Kylescue.
Charles I, in 1628 created the MacKay chief Lord Reay. Though
they opposed Cromwell, the Mackays became staunch Whigs during
both Jacobite uprisings of 1715 and 1745 (The Forty-Five).
The Mackays suffered badly in the Strathnaver clearances between
1815 and 1818. In 1829 the Reay estates passed to the Earl of
Sutherland. This decline of fortune resulted in the descendants
of one of the most famous and oldest of the true Gaelic Clans
being scattered to many parts of the world.
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