Ancient Modern Crest
Gaelic Name: MacAoidh
Motto: Manu Forti (With a strong hand)
Lands: Ross and Sutherland, Argyll
Origin of Name: Gaelic, ‘Son of fire’
The name MacKay takes its origins from the gaelic “Macaoidh” or “son of Hugh”. The identity of this Hugh is uncertain but the name probably derives from a member of the ancient Celtic royal house, whose branches disputed the throne in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The MacKays also have strong links with the progeny of Queen Gruoch, who was married to MacBeth. By the fourteenth century, the clan MacKay was well established in the most northerly and remote area of Scotland – their land extending from Cape Wrath along the north coast to Caithness. This land was known as Strathnaver.