Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2000-07 > 0964027881
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 13:31:21 EDT
MACKNIGHT; A few of this name in Ulster may be of Norman origin. A branch
of the Fitzsimonses of Meath took the Gaelic name Mac an Ridire, 'son of the
Knight', and this was later made MacKnight.
But most, especially in counties Antrim and Down, where the name is most
common, are of Scottish origin. The Clan MacNaughten claims descent from the
eighth-century Pictish king Nechtan. A spt of this clan was called
MacKnight, a variant of MacNaughten (which is itself made MacNaughton in
Ulster). The MacNaughtens were one of the families brought in by the
MacDonnells of the Glens of Antrim in the early seventeenth century, Shane
Dhu, or Black John MacNaghten, becoming the Earl of Antrim's chief agent.
Black John was buried in the family burial ground at Bonamargy Friary near
The Clan MacNaughten lost all its lands in curious circumstances in 1700 when
the last chief, John MacNaughten of Dundarave in Argyllshire, was married,
while drunk, to the wrong daughter of Sir James Campbell of Ardkinglas in
Argyllshire. The following morning he discovered his mistake ran off with
the right daughter, leaving the wrong one pregnant. The child that was born,
a daughter, was drowned by Campbell in a river. The Campbells thus acquired
the MacNaughten lands. Shane Dhu had been a brother of the then Laird of
Dundarave and in 1818, his descendant, Edward A. MacNaughten of Bushmills was
confirmed by Lyon Court, the supreme heraldic and genealogical arbiter in
Scotland, as Chief of the Clan MacNaughten.
The name MacNaught or MacNeight, on record in Dumfriesshire from 1296 and
common too in Ayrshire, was made MacKnight in Kirkcudbrightshire and in
Galloway generally. MacNaught in Ulster was corrupted to MacNutt.
At the start of the twentieth century MacKnight was being used
interchangeably with MacNaghten, MacNeight, Menautt, Minett and Minnitt in
various parts of east Ulster. The English name Knight has also been used as
an abbreviation. Menaght is a Co. Down variant of MacNaughton and was used
interchangeably with Monaghan in the Ards penisula, Co. Down.