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Mactaggart Coat of Arms / Mactaggart Family Crest

Mactaggart Coat of Arms / Mactaggart Family Crest

The surname of MacTAGGART was from the Gaelic Macantsagairt, the son of the priest. Marriage by members of the clergy was illegal and invalid after the 12th century, but was frequently practised nevertheless. The name was taken to Ireland by settlers, where it is perpetual in a place name of Ballymacataggart. Early records of the name mention Ferchar Machentagar, son of the red priest of Applecross who was knighted by Alexander II in 1215 for his services in quelling an insurrection in Moray. Otes Mactagart appears in Ireland in the year 1511. Walter McTagart in Glenroy and two other McTagarts were charged with fire-raising and burning houses in 1583. Catharin M'Target who was recorded in Dunbar was accused of witchcraft in the year 1688. The acquisition of surnames in Europe and England, during the last eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in cultures and traditions. On the whole the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working class or the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. The bulk of surnames in England were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in place names into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. 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. A notable member of the name was William McTaggart (1835-1910) the Scottish painter, born in Kintyre. He became the outstanding landscape painter of his time. His grandson, Sir William MacTaggart (1903-81) also a painter, was a prominent representative of the modern Scottish school. The name has many variant spellings including M'Intagerit, Myketaget and McTaggit.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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