Surname Macnachtan - Meaning and Origin
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Macnachtan: What does the surname Macnachtan mean?
The last name Macnachtan is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Mac an Ochtáin, which is derived from the earlier form of the surname Mac Eanfhachtáin. This name is made up of two elements, the first element being ‘mac’, which is the Irish and Scots Gaelic for ‘son of’, and the second element ‘oanfachtáin’ which is an old Irish personal name, possibly from the root word ‘eanfhacht’, meaning ‘udder’ or ‘breast’. It is believed that the original bearer of the name was descended from a man named ‘The Uddered’, and the surname was likely originally given to him to signify his unusual physical attributes.
The Macnachtan family were a clan of the Cenel Comhghaill, an old Gaelic-Irish tribal confederation of the 4th and 5th centuries. The Macnachtans were located in Derry, part of the Kingdom of Connacht in modern-day Northern Ireland. The family can trace their lineage back to Fergus, son of Niall, from Clan Ó Néill who were the Kings of Ireland from the 5th to the 12th centuries.
The surname Macnachtan is relatively uncommon, and has not seen much spread outside of Ireland, although there are some individuals of the Macnachtan lineage living in Northern Ireland, Great Britain, USA and Canada. Those who do bear the surname can take pride in their ancestry which goes back to illustrious lineages of kings and warriors.
Macnachtan: Where does the name Macnachtan come from?
The surname Macnachtan is historically associated with the Clan MacNachtan, a branch of the larger Clan Donald family. The family originated in Scotland in the 13th century, descending from the Clan Ranald of Islay.
Today, the surname Macnachtan is most commonly found in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. In Australia, Macnachtan is especially common amongst those with Irish heritage, descended from Highland Scottish families.
In the United States, Macnachtans have been recorded from the 1700s onwards. Records show that they arrived from Scotland either through direct descent or due to Scottish immigration.
In Canada, the surname Macnachtan is especially prevalent in Ontario, which is known for its large Scottish and Irish immigrant communities.
The highest concentration of Macnachtan families can be found in the United Kingdom, primarily the parts of Northern Scotland and Ireland.
The name is still in use today and continues to be a reminder of its ancient Highland Scottish heritage.
Variations of the surname Macnachtan
The surname Macnachtan is a Scottish surname, most commonly found in the Argyll area in Scotland, and more rarely, in Ulster. It is derived from the Gaelic Mac Neachdainn, meaning Son of the Champion or Son of the Knight. Variations on the name include MacNachten, MacNachton, MacNachtan, MacNaughtan, MacNaughton, MacNaughten, Maknachtan and Macknachtan.
In some parts of Scotland, the spelling of MacNachtan has changed over the centuries from MacNaughten to MacNachtan. The surname is sometimes seen as McClachtan, McLachtan or McLeachtan, but this is actually a derivative of the surname MacLachtan.
Some other surnames derived from MacNachtan are MacAnnachdan, MacNeachdan, MacNeishan, MacNeachdain, MacNachtan, MacNachtin, and MacNeish.
Other spellings of this surname could include MacNathdan, McNachtan, McNeachdain, MacNeachtan, MacNeathsain, MacNeathsawin, MacNechtyn, MacNidden, McNeithen and McNightan.
Some other surname variants include Nichdan, Nachtan, Nichtin, Nachtin, Neachaito, Nachtano, Nachtair, Necten, Nekten, Nectane, Nektein, Nektain, Necctain, Nekton, Neketon, Nechtuna, Neachtana, Nehctin, Nechtin, Nechtino, Nektin, Neixtein and Necton.
In some cases, the MacNachtan surname may have been forgotten in Scotland and only resurfaced in Irish records. In Ireland, the surname may have been changed to MacNaughan, McNaughan, McAnaughan, MacAnaughan, MacNaghten, McNaghten, MacNachtin, McNachtin, MacNaughton, McNaughton, MacNaughtan, McNaughtan, McCannaughan and McCannaghten.
Famous people with the name Macnachtan
- Sarah Macnachtan: professional dancer and associate choreographer at the Oregon Ballet Theatre
- Neil Macnachtan: Scottish professional football player
- Graham Mansion Macnachtan: Professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh 4.Tom MacNachtan: Actor, writer and producer
- Margaret MacNachtan: Solicitor and practitioner in Family Law and Mental Health Law
- Iain Macnachtan: Actor and artist
- Alan Macnachtan: award-winning character actor, television director and playwright 8.Jonah Macnachtan: journalist and member of the British Voice Over Network
- Catriona Macnachtan: Actress, associated with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the English National Opera
- Daniel Macnachtan: Stand-up comedian and writer for Comedy Central and HBO Comedy