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Surname MacKinnon - Meaning and Origin

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MacKinnon: What does the surname MacKinnon mean?

The last name MacKinnon is a Scottish surname derived from the Gaelic MacFhionghuin. The name translates to 'son of the fair-born' or 'son of the fair-haired one'. It is a patronymic surname.

The MacKinnon clan has a long history in Scotland, with its first known ancestor being Donnchadh, a 12th century chieftain. The clan was prominent in the Argyll region of Scotland and held many parts of the Hebrides as its own.

Many members of the clan have gone on to fame. Flora MacDonald is well-known for aiding Bonnie Prince Charlie and for a time was a prisoner of the English. Sir Roderick Mackinnon was the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh. Sir John MacKinnon was knighted for his services to the navy.

Throughout its history, the MacKinnon clan has remained close to its Gaelic roots and proudly displayed its heritage. Members of the clan today are divided between the Scottish Isles and the mainland, but are united in their Scottish identity. They continue to use their shared surname as a reminder of their heritage, and celebrate the history of their clan.

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MacKinnon: Where does the name MacKinnon come from?

The surname MacKinnon is particularly common among Scots and Canadians where it's believed to have originated in the Scottish Highlands. The earliest record of the name is believed to be Niall mac Aonghuis, from a 14th-century Scottish manuscript.

Nowadays, the name is most prevalent in Scotland and other parts of the UK, including Northern Ireland and Wales. The highest concentration of the name is in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, though it's quite commonplace throughout the British Isles.

Outside of the UK, many members of the MacKinnon clan have emigrated, particularly to the United States, Canada, and Australia. In Canada, many Scots migrated to Nova Scotia with several settling in Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island. As such, the name is most common in those parts of the country, with a strong presence throughout Atlantic Canada. As of 2018, more than 2,000 Canadians bore the MacKinnon surname.

The MacKinnon name is also quite common in the US, especially in the states of Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maine. Many of these states were primary destinations of those Scots who immigrated in the late 19th to early 20th centuries. As of 2018, more than 6,500 Americans bore the MacKinnon surname.

Overall, the surname MacKinnon remains a fairly common name among Scots and their descendants. Whether in Scotland, the US or Canada, the name is often traced back to the Scottish Highlands and offers an insight into the rich history of Scots-Canadian and Scots-American ancestry.

Variations of the surname MacKinnon

The MacKinnon surname has many variants in spelling and many clans or surnames of similar origin. The most popular variant is the spelling of MacKinnon, but the surname can also be found as MacKinnen, MacKinnon, MacKinon, MacKinnin, MacKinne, MacKinninne, MacKinn, and MacKinninne.

The surname is most commonly associated with Clan MacKinnon, originating in the western highlands of Scotland. The clan, being part of the Celtic race, had its own distinct clan system in which the heads of the clan held all authority. The surname MacKinnon gave one the right to wear the clan badge and colors, but other related MacKinnon families also shared the same sense of identity belonging to the clan.

The spelling of the surname has evolved over the centuries but many of the variants are interchangeable. Similar surnames include MacKinnell, MacKinin, MacKinnan, MacKinny, Mackinlee, Mackinley, MacKinnen, MacKinneth, Mackinnis, Mackinon, Mackinney and MacKinny.

Many individuals with the surname may have some relation to the clan, but were not actually members. These include families who adopted the surname when living in an area associated with Clan MacKinnon and those with ancestral ties to the clans.

Some surnames of a similar origin include McKinnon, Kinnon, Kennon, Kinnean and Kinon. These can also be found in variants such as MacKinney, MacKinnell, MacKinnin, MacKinneth and MacKinney.

Ultimately, the surname MacKinnon has survived throughout the centuries with many different spellings and variants. Despite the differences, those related to the surname have long shared a sense of pride and loyalty to the clan and those associated with it.

Famous people with the name MacKinnon

  • Nathan MacKinnon: Professional ice hockey player for the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL).
  • Paul MacKinnon: Former NHL player and assistant coach for the Washington Capitals.
  • Catriona MacKinnon: Scottish Gaelic singer and harpist.
  • Peter MacKinnon: Former President of the University of Saskatchewan and one of Canada's most distinguished legal scholars.
  • Evan MacKinnon: Canadian singer-songwriter.
  • John MacKinnon: Co-founder of the popular Spanish football club Real Zaragoza.
  • George MacKinnon: Former Conservative politician and first Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada.
  • Scott MacKinnon: Scottish professional footballer who plays for Scottish club Dundee United.
  • Helen MacKinnon: Scottish actress, best known for her roles in the television series Monarch of the Glen and New Tricks.
  • Dave MacKinnon: Canadian artist whose work mainly centers around landscapes and wildlife.

Other surnames

MacKinnMacKinnarneyMacKinnaweMacKinneenMacKinnellMacKinneyMacKinningMacKinnisMacKinnon of Barra

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