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MCKINLEY Family HistoryRecorded as McKinlay and McKinley, this is a surname of early medieval Gaelic origins. It may be either Irish or Scottish and derives from the pre 10th century name Mac Fhionnlaigh, meaning the son of the white skinned warrior from "fionn", meaning fair or white skinned, and "laoch", a warrior. It is therefore probably an ethnic name for a Norseman. Over the centuries the surname under went considerable development including: such spellings as Makkinla (1528); Macinle (1605); M'keandlay (1627); M'Finlay (1663); and McIndlay (1667).
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