Surname MacQueen - Meaning and Origin
all surnames with 'M'
MacQueen: What does the surname MacQueen mean?
The surname MacQueen is of Scottish origin and it derives from the Gaelic name Mac Shuibhne, which roughly translates to "son of Suibhne." The personal name "Suibhne" is said to mean "pleasant" in Gaelic. Over time, Suibhne underwent several transformations and variations, leading to surnames including McQueen, MacQueen, McQuinn, and MacQuinn among others. The use of 'Mac' at the beginning of many Scottish and Irish surnames signifies 'son of'. Thus, the surname MacQueen in its entirety can be interpreted as "son of Suibhne" or "son of the pleasant one". This surname is mostly associated with the Clan MacQueen, an ancient Highland Scottish clan.
MacQueen: Where does the name MacQueen come from?
The surname MacQueen is of Scottish origin, specifically from the Gaelic-speaking Hebrides islands. The name is derived from the Gaelic personal name "Suibhne," which means "peaceful." In old Gaelic, the term "Mac" denotes "son of," therefore, the name translates to "son of Suibne."
During the 13th century, with the steady expansion of Scottish clans, the name had several variations like MacSuain, MacSween, and MacEwen, with the most enduring version being MacQueen. The MacQueens were reportedly loyal to Clan Donald and Clan Mackintosh, providing them with men-at-arms during the clan conflicts.
Today, MacQueen is common in countries with a significant number of people of Scottish descent. It is quite prevalent in Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, the United States, Canada, and Australia. In the United States, the highest concentrations of people with the MacQueen surname are found in New York, Massachusetts, and North Carolina.
Variations of the surname MacQueen
The surname MacQueen originates from the Gaelic "Mac Shuibhne," meaning "son of Suibhne." The personal name Suibhne means "pleasant" or "well-disposed." Spelling variations of the name often resulted from phonetic Anglicization, and include McQueen, McQuene, McQuein, MacQueon, MacSween, MacSwein, MacSweyne, MacSwyne, MacQuin, MacQuine, and MacSwan among others.
There are also plenty of other surnames that come from the same underlying personal name Suibhne. These include Sweeney, Swene, Queen, Sween, Swein, Swyne, and Suenson.
Be aware that many Gaelic surnames often originated from different clans and can represent different lineage, despite resembling each other. For example, the MacQueen's from the Hebrides and Skye are said to descend from Suibhne, grandson of the mighty Scottish King Kenneth MacAlpin, while the MacQueens of Argyllshire are from the Irish Sweeney Clan, driven to Scotland by Anglo-Norman pressure in the 12th century. Therefore, people with the MacQueen surname and its variants might not belong to the same family origins.
This rich diversity in spelling, clan derivations, and geographical locations demonstrate the complex and multi-faceted history of the surname MacQueen and its variants.
Famous people with the name MacQueen
- Steve McQueen: Widely acclaimed American film actor famous for his roles in films like "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Great Escape".
- Ali MacGraw: Born Elizabeth Alice MacGraw, she is an American actress known for her roles in "Love Story" and "Goodbye, Columbus".
- Al McQuinn: A prominent American businessman, philanthropist, and founder of the investment firm Quinpario Partners.
- Fiona McQuinn: A New York-based visual artist primarily known for her work in photography.
- Dawn MacQuarrie: A retired Canadian gymnast who participated in the 1992 Olympics.
- Scott McQueen: A film and television director who has worked on series like "The Intouchables" and "The Big Bang Theory".
- Lee McQueen: A British businesswoman who won the fourth series of BBC's "The Apprentice".
- Alexander McQueen: A highly influential British fashion designer.
- David McQueen: A motivational public speaker focusing on youth empowerment.
- Dr. Jeffry McQuillin: An American archaeologist who worked extensively in the Middle East, particularly Jordan.
- Betty Ann McQueen: An American actress who starred in the film "Drop Dead Gorgeous".
- Jim MacQueen: A former professional baseball player.
- Sylvia McQueen: A British singer known as a one-time member of the Eurovision-winning pop group Brotherhood of Man.