MCCARTNEY Family History
This notable surname is an Anglicized form of the Old Scottish Gaelic "MacArtain" or the Irish "MacCartaine". The Gaelic prefix "mac" means "son of", and "Artain" is a diminutive of the Old Celtic byname "Art", bear, hero. Traditionally, Gaelic family names are taken from the heads of tribes or from some illustrious warrior. This surname is widely recorded in Scotland from the early part of the 16th Century (see below). One Thomas McCartnay or MaKartnay of Wigtownshire was noted in the Register of the Privy Council of Scotland in 1562 and a Helen Macartney is mentioned in connection with land in Dumfries circa 1588.