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MCCLAY Family History

Recorded as MacCleay, MacLae, MacLay, MacCley, MacLea, and the shortened forms of McCleay, McLae, McLea, McLay and McClay, this is a famous Scottish clan surname, which is also to be found in Ireland. It is understood to derive from the 13th century Gaelic surname Mac an Leigh, which is popularly believed to mean "The son of the doctor," although the ultimate origin is probably MacDhunnshleibhe, meaning rhe son of dark skinned one from the hill! The first name holder was one Ferchard Leche as spelt, who may well have been a doctor of sorts, and who in about the year 1380 held lands in Western Sutherland.

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