The Clan MacKay Association of Canada


CREST: Right forearm, proper, holding a dagger with a gold hilt and pommel.

MOTTO: Manu forti, With a Strong Hand

Allan, Bain, Bayne, Kay, Key, MacAllan, MacBain, MacCaa, MacCaw, MacCay, MacGaa, MacGaw, MacGee, MacGghee, MacGhie, MacKee, Mackie, MacPhail, MacQue, MacQuey, MacQuoid, MacVail, MacVain, MacVane, Morgan, Neilson, Nelson, Paul, Pole, Poleson, Polson, Reay, Scobie, Williamson

A Short History:
Descended from the Pictish Royal House of MacEth, the progenitor of the clan is Iye (MacEth), grandson of Earl of Ross, raised to Chiefship in 1250. Iye in Gaelic is AOIDH, meaning "fire" and anglicized as "ay" or "y" and pronounced "eye" - hence Mackay is properly pronounced "mhuc eye" not "mah kaay". His people were originally from Ireland, following two brothers deported after battle loss for kingship in 335 A.D. These Moray men were dispersed principally north to Strathnaver Region by order of King Malcolm IV in 1160 who defeated Malcolm MacEth, Earl of Ross whose daughter Gormalth married the Norse Harold, Earl of Caithness. Mackays became famous for strength, courage and skill in soldiering and were involved in endless Clan battles against Keiths, Rosses, Gunns, Sinclairs, Sutherlands and others, and wars abroad.

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