" Mac " or " Mc "
Many people have the mistaken idea that Mac and Mc indicate wheather
a family is Irish or Scotish, Catholic or Protestant. This may be true in some cases, but there is no reason to
expect it to be true. Mc is merely a shortened version of Mac.
M' was also used the same way, but has fallen into disuse. Mac
is also sometimes spelled Mack or Mak. In Irish it becomes Mag or Meig
and somtimes incorrectly O.
Mac is is simply an anglicised version of a Gaelic word meaning " son of."
Some write " Mc " as " Mc " and I have seen elaborate explanations,
but the simple fact is that it derives from 19th Century typesetting.
Abreviations often written that way as " St " or " Ste " the raised
often have a line or dot under them this was done to for visual balance.
There is also " Nic " which is the feminine equivalent of " Mac
" daughter of. " It is seldom used any more, but in older documents you may come across it.
" Nic " can also be found abreviated as " Nc " and " N' . "
" My family allways spelled it . . . "
One should not be too stuck on the idea that
" my branch of the family allways spelled it . . .".
The vast majority or recods were written by clerks who did not know
or care how they spelled their name. They simply wrote it
thought it should be. Even when people wrote their own name
it is not uncommon to see it spelled one way sometimes and another
way at other times. Sometimes you will see some ones name written
several different ways in the same document.