This surname MACKIE is of considerable antiquity in Stirlingshire, and can be traced there to the fifteenth century. William Makke, was a witness in a Scone charter in 1491 and Andrew Makky was burgess of Stirling in 1574. Donald McCay in Porte of Lochanre had to answer a charge of violence and robbery in 1592. The Mackies of Mid Galloway, a powerful and prosperous family of the 16th and first half of the 17th century were enthusiastic supporters of the Covenanters. The name was taken to Ireland by settlers, where in the majority it is a variant of the Scottish name McKay, but it is known to have been assumed by descendants of the Irish sept MacAodha. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. The earliest hereditary surnames in England are found shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and are of Norman French origin rather than native English. On the arrival of the Normans they identified themselves by references to the estates from which they came from in northern France. These names moved rapidly on with their bearers into Scotland and Ireland. Others of the Norman Invaders took names from the estates in England which they had newly acquired. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
Registered at Bargally, County Kirkcudbright.
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