Origin of the Name MacMichael
The origin of the name MacMichael
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. The name McMichael has a number of origins with families of the name often being a branch of the Scottish Stewart clan.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland , especially during the seventeenth century. It was the 'Plantations of Ireland ' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that marked the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland . While the influx of settlers in the wake of the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
Michael, Michaels and McMichael are also sometimes anglicized forms of the Gaelic O'Maoilmhichil sept that was located in Connaught Province in the western part of Ireland .
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. Irish septs and clans that are related often belong to even larger groups, sometimes called tribes.
This Gaelic name translates as 'devotee of Saint Michael' and was also changed to Mulvihill, Melville, Mulville and even to Mitchell in Ulster . When Gaelic names were anglicized during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries they were often changed to Anglo equivalents that sounded most like their original Gaelic name.
The MacMichael coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all MacMichael descendants.