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Surname M'Quhyne - Meaning and Origin

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M'Quhyne: What does the surname M'Quhyne mean?

The surname M'Quhyne is derived from the ancient Scottish name ‘MacQuhine’, or ‘MacWhinney’. Primarily found in the Central and Northern Highlands regions, the name dictated familial connections in both Scotland and Ireland.

Originally, the surname M'Quhyne was a nickname created for the son of a Whinney - a nickname used to define a child of good character and moral outlook, likely referring to the yellows flower Hoody Whinney, as well as the fact that rural folks were able to identify the herbs and trees which yielded a specific dye to dye their cloth. Thus, a child of a Whinney could be described as bright and cheerful.

The Gaelic spelling of the surname refers to ‘Mac Cu Huine’, literally meaning ‘son of a Whinney’, and this term was later anglicized as ‘M’Quhyne’. The use of the apostrophe ‘M’ distinguishes the Scottish spelling from the Irish version of ‘MacQuhine’, meaning ‘son of the king’.

Traditionally, the M'Quhyne Clan was believed to have descended from King Robert the Bruce of Scotland, tracing its lineage back to the Scottish royalty of the 1300s. Further history indicates that the M'Quhynes expanded their estate to include considerable property in the North Highlands and Inverness areas, building an enviable and powerful reputation for their strength and courage.

In more recent years, the M'Quhyne name has been used to represent an elite class of Scotsmen, deeply rooted in their native land and its history and culture, and proud to showcase their noble heritage.

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M'Quhyne: Where does the name M'Quhyne come from?

M'Quhyne is a slightly unusual surname that is sometimes seen in areas of the British Isles, particularly in Northern Ireland. Records show that the name was first found in County Antrim, Northern Ireland in the late 16th century and that most of those bearing it were Anglican Protestants.

The probability of finding people with the M'Quhyne surname is higher in Northern Ireland, with larger concentrations in Belfast and along the Antrim Coast. It is also found in Scotland and England, with a particular occurrence in South West London.

It is possible that the name is derived from the Gaelic ‘MacCuithin’, meaning "the son of Cuithin", a personal name derived from the word 'Cuithe', which means 'holly' and was used as a symbol of rest and fertility. It may also be linked to two prominent Irish families, the MacCuish and MacQuillan clans.

The surname M'Quhyne would be considered rare outside of Northern Ireland, Scotland and England, however it is possible to find people with this surname in Australia and New Zealand who are likely descendants of the original settlers from the British Isles.

Further research showed that the name M'Quhyne is a rare surname with only a few hundred occurrences in telephone directories in the UK and Ireland today; making it an interesting, uncommon yet historic surname.

Variations of the surname M'Quhyne

M’Quhyne is a variant spelling of the traditional Scottish surname MacQuhayne. This surname is rooted in the old British and Scottish Gaelic surnames MacCathaich and macCathmhaoil. Throughout the centuries, the surname has taken many variant spellings, including MacQuahyne, MacQhuayn, MacCouine, MacQuoine, MacKowne and M’Quhyne.

The various spellings of the surname are all derived from the ancient Celtic words “cath” or “cathaich”, which ultimately mean “battle”. The prefix “Mac” means “son” - the MacQuhayne surname literally translated to “son of battle” or “battle born”.

The M'quhyne surname can also be confused with variants of the similar MacWhinney surname. These variations include MacWhinney, MacWhynne, MacWinny, MacWhinnie, MacWhinney and M'Whinney. All of these surnames were adopted by families who lived in Scotland in the Middle Ages.

In addition to these MacQuhayne, MacWhinney and M'Quhyne variants, there are many more associated surnames, all of them related to one another and stemming from the same origin. Common surnames related to these variants include MacQuaid, MacQuaine, MacCavendish, McQuay, McWhinnie, MacKanye, and Mahowen.

All of these surnames represent the same root origin, and are interconnected in some way or another. Despite their varying spellings, all of these surnames are descendent from one family that originated from Scotland.

Famous people with the name M'Quhyne

  • William M'Quhyne, the distinguished Irish soldier and politician who served as an officer in the Irish Rebellion of 1798.
  • Peter M'Quhyne, the former Unionist member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
  • James M'Quhyne, a Scottish Member of Parliament in the 19th century.
  • Patrick M'Quhyne, a former Irish Constitutional patriot and member of the United Irishmen organisation.
  • Sir Joseph M'Quhyne, an Irish baronet and powerful landowner in County Louth.
  • Anne M'Quhyne, a prominent Irish historian and author.
  • William M'Quhyne, an American Revolutionary War leader.
  • Mary M'Quhyne, a 19th-century American poet.
  • Joseph M'Quhyne, an explorer who was part of the North-West Company expeditions to the Arctic in the 19th century.
  • John M'Quhyne, an 18th-century British politician who served as the governor of Bombay.

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