Log in


Website URL:

McKenzie Origins


Mackenzie, MacKenzie and McKenzie are Scottish surnames. Originally pronounced [məˈkɛŋj] in Scots, the z representing the old Middle Scots letter, yogh. The names are anglicised forms of the Scottish Gaelic MacCoinnich, which is a patronymic form of the personal name Coinneach, anglicised as Kenneth. The personal name means "comely".

Recorded as MacKenzie, McKenzie, Kenzie and Kensit, this is a famous Scottish surname. In the Gaelic it is recorded as Maccoinnich or Macchoinnich, translating as 'the son of Coinneach'. The derivation is from 'Mac' meaning 'son', and 'cainnechus', fair skinned, suggesting that the original nameholders may have been of Norse-Viking nationality. The English pronunciation of the name is interesting as it preserves the medieval Gaelic pronunciation which in most anglicised names, is diffused.

The name also appears in early Irish recordings as 'Mac Cainnigh', although strictly speaking the translation is then different as 'the son of the well dressed one'! This seems an unlikely explanation given the propensity of members of the clan to indulge in bloody deeds. Their feud with the MacDonalds occupied most of the period between the 13th and 16th centuries, leaving them little time to indulge in sartorial elegance.

This aside, early recordings include those of M'Kenzocht of Kintail in 1491, and Alan McConze of Culcowe, Armanoch, in 1504. Gilchrist Makkingze was arrested for felony in Wigtown in 1513, whilst rather more lawfully Johannes McKenzie held the charter of Kildrin in 1606. Amongst the many interesting namebearers was Sir George Mackenzie K. C., (1636 - 1691), known as 'Bloody George', for his treatment of covenanters, whilst Donald MacKenzie (1783 - 1851), was originally a fur-trader but later Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company in Canada. Murdoch McKenzie, the Elder (1721-1797) and Murdoch McKenzie the younger, his nephew, (1743-1829) were both admiralty surveyors who published reports on marine surveying. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Makbeth Makkyneth. This was dated 1264, in the court of Pleas, held at Dull in Angus, during the reign of King Alexander 111 of Scotland, 1249 -1286.



Family Welcome

You are now logged into the private side of the site as a registered user. You will notice that there are two extra menus showing above that now give you access to private functions only available to members of the family. Each of these menus is there for your enjoyment, so please let me know if things aren't quite what you want (or need). Here is what the three menus do:

Family Area

This is a social media or facebook-lite - Not quite as many features BUT NO ADVERTS. Importantly only other family members can see what you put up here. Set up your own groups, share events and help keep the family together. One idea is that good stories and photos will be harvested and put on the family story section.

The submenu items let you see family stories and family recipes (submitted by family members over the past years). We are alway looking for new stories, remember this is a private area and you can embarass your relatives as much as you want.  On the old site there was another item - family photos. This has been split into current photos which should be posted on your wall and photos to keep - in the family tree now.


Before you can see the family history you need to register for that - CLICK HERE!

This menu gives you access to our family tree, a growing resource of 2,933 connected individuals including 899 living relatives. We only include information that is proven from reliable resources and as far as possible the source of the evidence is also recorded. We have a growing number of historical family photos and other memorabilia online here too. Do contribute - if you want to add your own "branch" let me know and I will help you get started.  NOTE that you need to register again on this menu and login each time  with that user name and password to use the family tree - this is a bit of a phaff and I am working on a way of joining the two databases together.


This menu provides lots of help about the site, including how to add articles, how to use the family tree and a list of update articles about changes to the site. Over time we plan to add a series of videos and documents to help new users add their own trees to the site. The Frequently Asked Questions file will get larger as people ask questions and we get answers.

Remember to keep an eye on updates for news and changes!


Ehemann Origins

According to the Dictionary of American Family Names (Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4)

Ehemann is of South German origin. It is a byname for someone under feudal obligations of some particular kind, from Middle High German e ‘law’,‘contract’ + man ‘man’.Jewish: (Ashkenazic). It is also thought to be a nickname from modern German Ehemann ‘husband’ (the word Ehe having progressively become restricted to the marriage contract and then to the state of matrimony itself). At one time in the Austrian Empire, only one son in a Jewish family was officially permitted to marry and start a family of his own: this may have been a surname adopted by such a person.



Halliday Origins

From The Oxford Names Companion

Halliday in English and Scots; from Old English haligdaeg holy day, religious festival. The reasons why this word should have become a surname are not clear, perhaps it was used as a nickname for persons born at Christmas or Easter.'

From Burkes Commoners

'With the settlement of this people on the borders of the two kingdoms, began the harassing and petty warfare which may be said to have continued until long after the Union; and tradition affirms, that 'a holyday' became the warcry or slogan of the chief and people of Annandale, whenever they made a 'raide' or foray upon the Saxon border - for they accounted every day HOLY, that was spent in ravaging the ememy's country.'

The wars that in the aftertimes so fiercely raged between two neighbouring and rival nations, thus arose from the hatred that existed and long continued to exist between two distinct people,the Saxon and the Gaul, the oppressor and the oppressed. The Clan, when provisions became scarce were summoned to make a holyday, and in proof of the probability of this origin of the name, the eminence where the 'Annandale Moss Troopers,' were accustomed to assemble when a foray into England was ordered, still retains the designation of the Halliday Hill. (OS Landranger Series sheet 85 NY091741) Whether the derivation be correct or not, there are now no means of ascertaining - but the evidence is complete, that the chieftain, who first assumed the surname, had his castle or strong tower, near the source of the River Annan, and about two or three miles above the present flourishing village of Moffat, so celebrated for its mineral waters; at the Corehead the ruins of this castle may still be traced, and there we may suppose that generation after generation had lived in Celtic greatness as chiefs, and had hunted the wolf and the wild boar in the woody vale, when more profitable pursuit of Saxon beeves was not necessary or advisable.

It was also suggested by researcher Clarence Halliday (1963) that the name might have more ancient roots. Roman invaders called the people of Annandale 'allodil', which might have translated from Latin as 'those who cultivate their own land'. The idea being that when the Roman legions penetrated the valley of Annan they were struck by the fact that the peoples there, a mixed race of peoples, lived on lands owned by themselves. That is, no feudal type system existed as the Romans were accustomed, but one more like a freehold tenure. The medieval Latin word 'allodiālis' is apparently the root for Allodial land title. The similarity of this Latin word to the Old English surname could indicate a corruption of the old word with the new meaning. Evidence for this interpretation is however admittedly thin.


Lots of variations including Holyday and Holliday.

Subscribe to this RSS feed

Log in or Sign up

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of this site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

  I accept cookies from this site.
EU Cookie Directive Module Information