Evolution of a Scots sounding name

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Evolution of a Scots sounding name

Post by Kirbstone »

Some years ago I got into conversation with a pleasant chap who was lowland Scots. His surname was Mc Harg, which I hadn't heard of before, so I asked him about its history.

His paternal forebears were Catholic in a predominantly protestant ship-building area of Clydeside Glasgow and they suffered persecution because their surname Graham was tribally recognised as Popish, or Catholic.
One family member decided to reverse his surname by deed poll, so thenceforth his family name was Maharg. Living where they were it took just one generation to modify that name into Mc Harg.

This spelling persists to this day for that family tree.

Last edited by Kirbstone on Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Evolution of a Scots sounding name

Post by ScotL »

That’s a great story that I’m sure is not unique when you think of how human nature did what was necessary to survive. Thanks for sharing
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Re: Evolution of a Scots sounding name

Post by STEVIE »

Hi Tom,
In a similar vein, I had a Glaswegian friend of the surname MacDonald, a very common one.
His ancestral name was O'Donnell and the prejudice fearsome.
The MacDonald was simply adopted without any legal recourse and still in use today.
What is more that I believe there are direct descendants in America and possibly elsewhere.
My friend had to be a survivor, he was also gay and grew up in the city's East End in the 1940s.
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