Associated Names and Families
The MacQuarrie clan includes families with these names and spellings:
MacCorrie, MacCorry, MacGorry, MacGorrie, MacGuarie, MacGarry, MacGuire, MacQuaire, MacQuarie, McQueary, MacQuhire, MacQuire, Quarry, Wharrie, and various spellings.
"Mc" is simply an abbreviated version of "Mac" which is a Gaelic word meaning "son." Mc, M', Ma, and even M: were often used as printer's abbreviations in earlier times for "Mac." Sometimes the "Mac" was simply omitted. Thus MacQuarrie might appear in full the first time the name is mentioned in a particular work, but thereafter as McQuarrie, M'Quarrie, or simply Quarrie--the "Mac" was assumed. These spellings are preserved for us today in our own family names, and any spelling variant is acceptable.
Various spellings include:
MacQuarrie, MacQuarie, MacQuary, MacQuarry, McQuarrie, McQuarie, McQuary, McQuarry, M'Quarrie, M'Quarie, M'Quary, M'Quarry, MacQuery, MacQuore, MacQuorie, MacQuorrie, MacQewry, McQuery, McQuore, McQuorie, McQuorrie, McQewry, M'Query, M'Quore, M'Quorie, M'Quorrie, M'Qewry, MacQuire, McQuire, MacQuaire, MacQuairie, MacQuhirrie, McQuharrie, McQuhurrie, McQuhore, McQuhorre, MacQuhirr, M'Quhoire, M'Quhury, M'Quhurrie, M'Quhurie, M'Quhyrry, M'Quhirrich, M'Qwhyrrcht, Makquhurrie, Makquhory, Makquharry, Makquhary, Makquharie, Makquyre, Makquoyrie,Quarry, MacWharrie, M'Worich, M'Warie, M'Vorich, Makwidy, Wharrie, M'Coirry, M'Corry, McCwerie, Makcory, Makcorry, Makcurre, M'Rore, MacGuaidhre, MacGuarie, MacGorrie, MacGorry, McGorre, M'Goyre, M'Gourie, M'Gowry, M'Geir, Gorey, MacGurrie, MacGurr, Gurr, MacGuaire, MacGuire, MacGuire, MacGwyer, MacGwier, McGuaire, McGuire, McGuire, McGwyer, McGwier, M'Guaire, M'Guire, M'Guire, M'Gwyer, M'Gwier, Maguier, MacGeir
MacGuire and its variant spellings have always been listed as septs (associated families) of Clan MacQuarrie, and many people have always thought the obvious--that it was because of a similarity in pronunciation, suggesting that the two names come from the same root. However, George F. Black, authority on Scottish surnames, in the Surnames of Scotland illustrates that MacGuire and MacQuarrie have different Gaelic origins.
MACQUARREY, MACQUARIE, MACQURRIE, MACWHARRIE, 'the son of Guaire,' an old
Gaelic personal name meaning 'proud' or 'noble,' from early Gaelic gaurio-s. . . . John
M'Goyre of Wlua witnessed a charter by John of Yle, earl of Ross, in 1463 . . . etc. . . . In
the Isle of Man the name has become Quarry, and in Ireland it is Gorey (from UaGuaire).
MACGUIRE, from Gaelic Mac uidhir, 'son of the pale(-faced) man.' In Ayrshire, c. 1740, the
name occurs in the forms M'Queir and M'Quyre. M'Quire of Drumdow, Ayrshire, changed
their name to Macrae on succeeding to the Houston estates of James Macrae, Governor of
Bombay, in the middle of the eighteenth century.
MacLysaght, in The Surnames of Ireland, lists MacGuire and Maguire as being prominent Fermanagh families. David Dorward, in Scottish Surnames, even goes so far to say that MacQuarrie has no connection with MacGuire at all.
However, this name is not only included on simple sept name lists such as Scots Kith and Kin or Phil Smith's Tartan For Me!, but in very reputable sources, such as George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire's Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopaedia. What is the connection? Here is a paragraph from Electric Scotland that sheds some light on this connection: (http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/m/macquar2.html)
According to a history of the family, by one of its members, in 1249 Cormac Mohr, then
"chief of Ulva's Isle", joined Alexander II, with his followers and three galleys of sixteen oars
each, in his expedition against the western islands, and after that monarch's death in the
Island of Kerrera, was attacked by Haco of Norway, defeated and slain. His two sons, Allan
and Gregor, were compelled to take refuge in Ireland, where the latter, surnamed Garbh or
the rough, is said to have founded the powerful tribe of the MacGuires, the chief of which at
one time possessed the title of Lord Inniskillen. Allan returned to Scotland, and his
descendant, Hector Macquarrie of Ulva, chief in the time of Robert the Bruce, fought with
his clan at Bannockburn.
Some historians cast doubt on this association between the two families. Regardless of what history bears out to be true, it seems that the chiefs of the clan believed it! According to Clan MacQuarrie: A History, by R. W. Munro and Alan Macquarrie, the chief took his armorial bearings from the Macguires, and there was apparently "some idea in the family that the Macguires in Ireland, including the Earl of Inniskillen . . . were a branch of the MacQuarries of Ulva."
Other Clan Affiliations
Nothing exists in a vacuum, and like any other clan, the MacQuarries had very close relationships with their neighbors in the western isles.
As the histories indicate, The MacQuarrie clan was part of the great Lordship of the Isles, and the chief Lords of the Isles were of course the MacDonalds (Clan Donald). The MacQuarrie tartan used today is very similar to the red MacDonald of the Isles tartan, and the MacDonald of Sleat tartan. The MacQuarries were never a "sub-clan" of the MacDonalds, however. They were a small, but independent clan in the Lordship.
The Clan Donald does list among its associated families a MacGorrie. From their web page: "Only those from S. Uist, Benbecula or N. Uist. MacGorries not of Clan Donald may be of Clans Lamont or MacQuarrie. Clan Donald MacGorries derive from: Gaelic MacGoraidh - "son of Godfrey". From Godfrey, youngest son of Eain & Amie MacRuairl. N. Uist - Clan Donald NORTH, Benbecula & S. Uist - CLANRANALD."
Clan Donald USA
Jim McDonald, genealogist for the Clan Donald, writes:
"Clan Donald has always considered MacQuarrie as an equal partner in the Lordship along with MacLeod, MacLean, MacNeil, MacFie, MacKinnon, etc, etc, etc. Just because it is small in numbers and acres doesn't mean it can't be independent, and it is. Our Clan Gorrie came from Godfrey, younger brother of Ranald, 1st of Clanranald. On failure of its main line, it merged into Clanranald and Sleat (on North Uist)."
The MacQuarries were also followers of the MacLeans of Duart in many instances, as is illustrated by our history. In fact, the modern clan MacLean does list MacQuarrie as one of it's associated names. However, this appears to be historically inaccurate, as the MacQuarries were never absorbed into the MacLeans.
Septs of Clan MacLean: MacQuarrie
Due to our common descent from Alpin, King of Scots, whose son Kenneth MacAlpin went down in history as the first to unite the Scottish and Pictish thrones, we are a part of the Siol Alpin (Apline Family), which consists of the Clan MacAlpine, The MacKinnons, Grants, MacNabs, MacFies, Macaulays, MacGregors and MacQuarries.