This is an anglicized form of the Olde Gaelic (Scots and Irish) Mac Miadhachain. The Gaelic prefix 'mac' means 'son of', plus the personal name Miadhachan, composed of 'Miadhaeh', honourable and the diminutive suffix 'a(i)n'. The surname is first recorded in Scotland in the latter half of the 12th Century, (see below). Jenette Filia (daughter of) Makmechum sold land in the parish of Kirkmabreck in 1496 and an Alexander McMychin or Makmechane appears in 'Criminal Trials of Scotland' in 1513. In the 'modern' idiom the name has no less than fifteen spelling variations including MacMeekin(g), MacMeeken, M(a)cmMechan, MacMickan, MacMychem etc..In Ireland the above group of names are widespread in Antrim and Down having been imported from Scotland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gillecrist Mak Makin or M'Maykin, charter witness, which was dated circa 1185 - 'The Book of St. Mary of Melrose', Scotland, during the reign of William the Lion of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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