[Crest] Crest of Clansfolk of Clan MacKay

The MacKays or The MacKay Mind

                                  - Dr. R. L. Mackay
Clans as units of folk with common land, common rights and obligations long ago ceased to exist. A tradition in families of an ancestry long ago in Sutherland and the bearing of a name such as Mackay are links too feeble to bind men of that name, spread now around the world, diverse in occupation, location, nationality, and even in language. There are no typical Mackays or Murrays, just as there are no typical Browns or Smiths.

Is this statement true? Is there such a thing as a Mackay Mind? My wife thinks there is! I wonder if one could ascertain in which directions the main interests of those possessing THAT NAME AND THAT MIND might lie. In an attempt to discover this I turned to the British Museum Library Catalogue. This consists of 32 pages of double foolscap columns of writers with the name Mackay, excluding women who have married Mackays. I assumed that the subjects of these writings would give an idea of what most interested the writers, and thereby give an impression of the Mackay Mind at work, or of that part of the Clan which has a Mind, is literate, and has an urge to go into print.

The range of subjects listed is so wide that only the crudest classification may be attempted. To this end, I have grouped Mathematics with Science in the broad sense of the latter, Geology with Engineering, Geography with Travel, History with Guide Books and Genealogy, Education with Economic and Social Reform, and so on. Each group is subject to the most serious criticism, and to a Librarian the scheme is execrable! But if you say "Proceed" then this is what one finds.

Most writers produce books of Sermons, Theology with a Presbyterian slant and Philosophy. Some way behind, and in about equal numbers are three groups, namely Legal subjects, Local and General History, and Poetry. Thereafter, in diminishing frequency come Education, Economic and Social Reform, Science, Engineering, Geography and Travel. The writing of novels is inconspicuous. War, as distinct from History, is rather rare. Almost absent, alas, are Music, Drama, Painting, Illustration, Crafts of Mankind. Stranger! If you think of marrying a Mackay YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

A comforting thought is that many of the Mackay deficiencies have been well compensated for by the artistic, cultural and sportive qualities of their mates!

"Nature corrects every imbalance," says my wife.

From: The Clan Mackay: Its Origin, History and Dispersal
Copyright (C) 1980: R. L. Mackay, O.B.E., M.C., M.D., B.Sc.
Included with permission of Robert MacKay, grandson

The MacKay Crest shown here is graciously provided by Barbara Garn,
a descendant of the MacKays who emigrated to Earltown, Nova Scotia.
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