MacGill Clan

MacGill (Makgill) Clan Crest: A phoenix in flames, Proper.

MacGill (Makgill) Clan Motto: Sine Fine (Without end).

MacGill (Makgill) Clan History: Translated from the Gaelic language, this surname, “Mac an ghoill”, means “Son of the stranger”,   and those carrying it were early on established in Galloway.  A Maurice Macgeil witnessed a Charter by Malcolm, Earl of Lennox in 1231. 

In 1550, James M'Gile or McGill is recorded as being Burgess of Edinburgh, and is possibly the same man who became Clerk Register in 1572. His son, Sir James Makgill of Nether Rankeillor, in Fife, became a Lord of Session and took the judicial title of Lord Rankeillor. An adherent to the Reformation, he was an admirer of John Knox, but this did not prevent him from being appointed a Privy Councillor to Mary Queen of Scots. For his involvement in the plot to murder her private secretary David Rizzio, he was dismissed and exiled north of the Firth of Tay.

This made him a natural ally of the Queen's half-brother, the Regent Moray and, following Mary's defeat, he was sent as Ambassador to England. In his absence, his Edinburgh home was attacked by supporters of the Queen, and his wife murdered.

Lord Rankeillor's brother David, owner of the Cranston-Riddell estate, was Lord Advocate, with the judicial title of Lord Cranston-Riddell. His great grandson, another Sir James, also a Lord of Session was, in 1651, elevated to the Peerage as Viscount Oxfuird and Lord Makgill of Cousland.

After the death of the 2nd Viscount Oxfuird, the Nether-Rankeillor estates passed through his daughter Christian's marriage to a younger son of the Earl of Lauderdale, and their family assumed the name Maitland Makgill, although the Viscountcy thereafter remained dormant for over two and a half centuries. When David Makgill became heir to the Crichton Viscountcy of Frendraught, the Crichton name was added and it was a member of this family who later re-established the Chiefship of Crichton.

In 1986, George Hubbard Makgill was recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms as 13th Viscount of Oxfuird, and Chief of the name of Makgill.

During the 18th century, there was a family of MacGills on the Hebridean island of Jura who were known as Clann a' ghoill. Another family of the name was settled in Kintyre on the Scottish mainland, and were followers of Clan MacMillan.

Surname distribution in Scotland: The MacGill name is most common in Glasgow City, Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway (Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire).

Places of Interest: A number of Highland MacGills were to be found around Kilmartin in Argyll. In 1827, Rankeillor Street in Edinburgh came under the ownership of David Maitland Makgill of Rankeillor in Fife.

Clan MacGill members display certificates.