The McKay Credo
"Be true —
work wisely and look to the outcome.“
In Gaelic: Mhic Aoidh translates to “Son of Fire”
The Pipe music: Bratach Bhan Chlann Aoidh (The White Flag of Mackay)
Clan Mackay is a proud and ancient Scottish clan with roots in the far Highlands of Scotland. The clan's historic lands encompassed the northwestern area of Sutherland, which became known as "Strathnaver" after the River Naver that flows through the territory. Despite the unclear early genealogy of the clan, there are many fascinating theories regarding their ancestry, including a possible link to the chiefs of Clan Forbes and Clan Farquharson.
Throughout their history, Clan Mackay was known for long-standing feuds with their neighboring Highland clans, including Macleod of Lewis, Ross, and Sutherland. The feud with Clan Sutherland is particularly well documented, dating back to the murder of clan chief Iye Mackay and ending when Huistean du Mackay married the daughter of the 12th Earl of Sutherland.
Despite their feuds, Clan Mackay played a vital role in Scottish history. They supported Robert the Bruce in the Scottish Wars of Independence, but during the Jacobite uprisings in the 18th century, they fought against the Jacobites at the Battle of Culloden, positioning themselves on the side of the British government.
By the 19th century, Clan Mackay's influence in the Highlands was declining as the Sutherlands became more and more powerful, resulting in the devastating Highland clearances. Nevertheless, many castles in Scotland are still linked to the Mackay clan heritage, including Castle Varrich in the village of Tongue in Sutherland, recognised as the ancient seat of Clan Mackay.
Today, there are six "Mackay Country" stone signs placed in locations around the ancient lands of the clan in Sutherland, welcoming people to the historic clan lands. The current head of Clan Mackay is the 15th Lord Reay, Aeneas Simon Mackay, and the present seat of the Clan Mackay is Ophemert Castle in the Netherlands.
Beyond Scotland, Clan Mackay has produced many notable individuals, including Scottish explorer John Mackay, whose name is given to the city of Mackay in Queensland, Australia. The pronunciation of the city's name was once a point of contention until descendants of Mr. Mackay confirmed that the pronunciation was derived from the Gaelic name MacAoidh.
Additionally, there are many prolific MacKays in the world of sports and politics, particularly in Australia and North America. For instance, Rich McKay, the current president of the Atlanta Falcons football team, was the general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they won the Super Bowl in 2003. His father, John McKay, was the Buccaneers' first head coach in 1976. Furthermore, the Mackay clan has produced many talented individuals in the arts, such as the musician Al McKay, a former member of the band Earth, Wind and Fire, and Gardner McKay, a Hollywood star in the 1950s and 60s.
And John B. McKay
John B. McKay
On November 9, 1962, 1962, the X-15 number 2, a groundbreaking experimental aircraft, was severely damaged during a landing, and its pilot John B. McKay was seriously injured. The accident occurred due to a failure of the control surfaces, causing the plane to touch the ground much too quickly at an excessive speed of around 200 miles per hour. The impact caused the left landing gear to break, and the X-15 went into a barrel roll before crashing onto its back. Despite the severity of the accident, McKay survived and went on to recover from his injuries. The X-15 program continued to push the boundaries of aeronautics, with many more successful flights following this incident.