This Irish surname of MARKIE is in Gaelic O'MARCAIGH, an Oriel surname, found especially in counties Louth and Monaghan. The prefix O was retained by most families until the 17th century, and the form MARKY is among the principal Irish names in County Louth in the 'cenus' of 1659. The translation of the name for MARCACH means 'a horseman'. Other spellings of the name include MARKEY, MARRACK, O'MARKAGHAINE, O'MARCAHAN, MARCAHAN and O'MARCACHAIN. Ireland is one of the earliest sources of the development of patronymic names in northern Europe. Irish Clan or bynames can be traced back to the 4th century B.C. and Mac (son of) and O (grandson or ancestor of) evolved from this base, the original literal meaning of which has been lost due to the absence of written records and linguistic ambivalences which subtly but inexorably became adopted through usage. Genealogists and lexographers accept that the patronymic base does not refer to a location, quite the contrary. The use of the prefix 'Bally' (town of) attaching to the base name, identifying the location. The base root was also adopted by people residing in the demographic area without a common ancestor. These groups called 'Septs' were specially prevalent in Ireland. The first Normans arrived in Ireland in the 12th and 13th centuries to form an alliance with the King of Leinster. Under Elizabeth I in the 16th century, settlers from England established themselves around Dublin, then under English control and Presbyterian Scots emigrated to Ulster, introducing English and Scottish roots. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Robert O'MARKEY who was outlawed in Tipperary in the year 1302. 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.
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