Friday, 15 March 2013

Spelling Clan Name

I have just reviewed all our clan name variants that I have come across and have referred to in this blog. When searching the various resources (eg on the Internet) I may of course have missed some variants and will certainly have missed some 'deviants'. We know that most variants occurred before most people could spell. There are many possibilities depending on what one does with each letter of our name.

M: normally it's included, but occasionally may not be, eg
      if 'Mc' has been wrongly transcribed as a middle name;
      if 'Mc' has been misheard, perhaps as 'Muckle';
      if 'Mc' has been deliberately dropped, as in 'Hagger';
      if a Gaelic pre-Mac/Mc version is being used, as in 'Gilmagu'.

Mc may precede the rest of the name in a number of forms, eg
      Mc, Mac, M', even Mic, or any of these followed by a space.

The letter following Mc. Normally I, it can also be A, E, even G (as McGilly), H (as McHago where a syllable has been dropped), T (as McTaggart, a related name) or L (as McLihager where two letters have been reversed).

The second letter of the second syllable is usually 'l', though in a parallel and possibly related name may be 'n' (as McIntaggart), may be omitted (as McItegart) or may be absent as part of an omitted syllable (as McHagg).  This letter may be doubled, eg 'll' though normally only after 'I'. Only very rarely is it doubled after E (as McEllhagow).

The third syllable is nearly always 'hag' (single or double 'g'). Very rarely the 'g' is mistranscribed as 'd', 'f' or 'n' or the vowel is changed to 'ae', 'ai', 'e', 'o' or 'ou'. Extremely rarely the 'h' is omitted or a 'r' is intruded after the vowel.

The greatest number of variants occur because the last syllable varies. All of the vowels have been used, the earliest in time possibly being 'u', then 'o', then 'a'. Any number of consonants may then be tagged on to the final vowel giving endings as 'gan', 'gart', gel', ger', gey', go', gow', &c.

In this blog you can find 152 names which I have considered as clan names. Of these there are 6 McA...(s), 24 McE...(s), 49 McI...(s), 11 McH...(s), 12 McIll...(s), 20 Mac...(s) and 19 others. In addition there are 11 which I have to reject as clan names.

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