MacBain

MacBain - what does MacBain surname mean?

This name with variant spellings MacBane and MacVain, is an anglicized form of the Olde Gaelic Mac A`Ghille Bhain. The Gaelic prefix `mac` means `son of `, `an ghille`, the servant, plus the adjective `ban` meaning `white`, hence, `son of the white or fairhaired servant`. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 17th Century, (see below). In `The Black Book of Taymouth`, the following entry appears under the date 1638 - `Patrick M`Vaine in Tullich and John M`Vaine in Teray were Glenurquhay Vassals`. The name first appears in London Church Registers as MacBane. On February 20th 1731 Thomas, son of John MacBane, was christened in St. Clement Danes, Westminster. An interesting namebearer was Sir James MacBain (1828 - 1892), a Scottish national who emigrated to Australia (1853) and became President of the Legislative Council, Melbourne in 1884, knighted 1886. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alison MacBain married Andrew Wright, which was dated May 6th 1629, in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, during the reign of King Charles I, of England, `The Martyr`, 1625 - 1649. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to `develop` often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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