The MACKALL or MacCALLS were an old Bute family and other spellings of the name include MACKAIL, MACKALE, MACKAIL and MACCALE. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Finlay MACCHAELL, who was the baillie of Rothesay in 1501, and in 1506 a Finlay MAKCAILL was recorded in Bute. Stephen MAKAILL appears in 1513 as a servitor of the abbot of Arbroath, and Sydoc McCAILL is recorded in 1540. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. A notable member of the name was John William MACKAIL (1859-1945) the Scottish classical scholar, born in Kingarth, Bute. After a career in the civil service he resigned in 1919 to give his full time to scholarship and criticism. He wrote 'Latin Literature' (1895) and a biography of William Morris (1899). He was elected professor of poetry at Oxford in 1906. From 1759 to 1776 there was a constant flow of emigrants from the Highlands to North America. Between 1763 and 1775 alone, it is estimated that about 20,000 Highlanders left Scotland for the New World. Highland emigrants in their new American homes freely wore the highland dress, and were not forbidden the music of the 'piob-mhor' which was at that period prohibited in the Highlands by Government as a 'weapon of war'. On the outbreak of the American War in 1775, not only were the Highlanders in America loyal to their mother-country, but they raised a regiment in her support (the 84th Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment). At the conclusion of the war, the Highlanders, resisting all offers made to them by the new nation, crossed the border and settled in Canada.
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