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Surname MacWh*rter - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'M'

MacWh*rter: What does the surname MacWh*rter mean?

The surname MacWhirter is of Scottish origin and is derived from the Gaelic word Mac Chruiteir. In this, "Mac" means "son of," and "Chruiteir" translates to "the harpist." So, MacWhirter roughly means "son of the harpist." This indicates a possible occupational origin where the earliest ancestors of the MacWhirters may have been musicians or minstrels. It also may denote the status of the family as being associated with court or ceremonial events where harpists were an important part of the cultural milieu. Remember, name origins can sometimes be speculative due to the depth of history and changing languages. Nonetheless, it aims to provide a family's link to their past, describing either their occupation, location, or ancestor.

MacWh*rter: Where does the name MacWh*rter come from?

The surname MacWhirter is of Scottish origin. It derives from the Scottish Gaelic "Mac Chruiteir," with "Mac" meaning "son of" and "Chruiteir" translating to "Harpist." Thus, this surname likely originally identified a family whose patriarch was a harp player. Historically, the MacWhirters were associated with the Clan MacDonald of Clanranald, one of Scotland's largest clans.

Today, this surname isn't particularly common due to its complexity and modifications over the years. However, it's most prevalent in Scotland due to its origins. There are also concentrations of MacWhirters in countries that have seen significant Scottish immigration over the centuries, like the United States, Canada and Australia. In general, modifications like McWhirter, MacQuarrie, and McWhorter are more common. This surname has fewer bearers, making it fairly unique in all parts of the world.

Variations of the surname MacWh*rter

The surname MacWh*rter reportedly originates from Scotland and Ireland. This surname has several variations, spellings, and surnames of the same origin due to transliterations, dialect differences, and personal preference.

The common variants and spellings of MacWh*rter include McWh*rter, MacWhorter, McWhorter, MacWherter, McWherter, MacQuarrie, McWhirter, MacWhister, MacWhirr, and MacWhirt.

Slightly adulterated versions might play around with phonetics such as MacQuirter, MacWherther or MacWhortar. Also note that the prefix "Mac" (meaning "son of" in Gaelic) could also be replaced with "Mc" which holds the same meaning. Furthermore, it's also seen that the prefix may be dropped entirely.

As for surnames of the same origin, related names include MacQuarrie and MacGuire, which share a Celtic/Gaelic root.

It's important to bear in mind that variations can exist widely due to varied transcription, translation, and Anglicisation processes over centuries. Thus, it's possible to encounter other versions or variations not listed here.

Famous people with the name MacWh*rter

  • Sir Kenneth MacWhirter (1866-1939), Scottish landscape painter
  • William MacWhirter (1839-1911), Scottish painter
  • Andrew William MacWhirter (1871-1951), Scottish portrait and landscape painter
  • Alan MacWhirter (1921-2006), British Conservative politician
  • Duncan MacWhirter (1886-1976), Canadian railway engineer
  • Alec MacWhirter (1928–2010), Scottish Celtic scholar
  • Duncan MacWhirter (born 1946), Scottish actor
  • Sean MacWhirter (born 1957), Scottish journalist, television presenter and radio broadcaster
  • Paul MacWhirter (born 1980), Scottish football goalkeeper
  • Christopher MacWhirter (born 1990), American Africa researcher.

Other surnames


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