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Mcaskill Coat of Arms / Mcaskill Family Crest

Mcaskill Coat of Arms / Mcaskill Family Crest

The surname of McASKILL was derived from the gaelic MacAsgaill. Scottish surnames fall into two quite distinct groups; those of Gaelic origin and those of English origin. The Gaelic language was brought to Scotland from Ireland around the 5th century AD, displacing the British language (an early form of Welsh) previously spoken there as well as elsewhere. Gaelic was the main language of that part of Scotland not subject to English influence, a rather more extensive area than the present day Highlands and Islands, where Gaelic is still spoken in places. It is from these northwestern and western area of Scotland that surnames of Gaelic origin, now almost universally Anglicized in form, have been disseminated around the world. Early records of the name mention William MacAskill, probably a member of the family of MacCaskill of Ebost, who led the Clan MacLeod against the fleet of Clanranald at Eynot, west of Skye in the sixteenth century. Donald M'Askle was a corporal in the Reay Fencibles in 1795. Angus McAskill, born in Lewis, died in Cape Breton on August 8th, 1863 in his thirty-eighth year. He was 7 foot 9 inches in height, and known as the Cape Breton Giant. The Macaskills are known as Clann t-Asgaill. 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 draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The first people in Scotland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames. The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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