McIntosh Surname Genealogy

Mackintosh is the anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac an Toisich,
meaning “‘son of the chief.” Mackintosh later became McIntosh.
Mackintosh is also, through the pioneering work of Charles McIntosh, a
term for raincoat and, because of farmer John McIntosh, an apple
variety.  MacIntosh had a second lease of life when Apple named
their computer the Macintosh.

McIntosh Resources on

McIntosh Ancestry

Scotland.  There appears to have been two original septs of this name, one in Perthshire and the other more importantly in Inverness. 

Mackintoshes in Inverness date back to the 13th century when the Gaelic name of Mac an Toisich was first adopted. Moy Hall near Inverness became the home of the clan chiefs.The clan was involved in the war for Scottish independence and subsequently spent much of their time feuding with neighboring clans. They were Jacobite supporters in 1715 and in 1745.  Lady Anne Farquharson-Mackintosh rallied 350 men of the Mackintosh clan to fight at Culloden.

“She famously greeted her husband with the words: ‘Your servant, captain,’ to which he replied: ‘Your servant, colonel,’ thereby giving her the nickname of ‘Colonel’ Anne.”

Bonnie Prince Charles was received by Lady Mackintosh at Moy and the Prince’s bed is still to be seen in Moy Hall today.

Mackintosh has remained very much a name of NE Scotland, and in particular of Inverness. Many McIntosh families were recorded as working on the Grant Balmacaan estate in Glenurquhart in the 1700’s. Sir James Mackintosh, the distinguished jurist and historian, came from the Killochy branch of the family in Inverness.  

The Macintoshes of the Raigmore estate overlooking the Moray Firth have been commemorated in the tune Mrs. Macintosh of Raigmore.  John Mackintosh of Aberarder was Provost of Inverness between 1794 and 1803. And one family traces itself back to John McIntosh who was born in Petty in the Nairn valley and married Isobel Cameron there in 1776. His family were fishermen.

England. There were
Mackintoshes south of the border. John Mackintosh
and his wife Violet bought a pastry shop in Halifax, Yorkshire in
1890. In order to attract customers they decided to sell a
special toffee developed by Violet which blended the traditional
brittle English butterscotch with soft American caramel. In time
Mackintosh’s became a brand known for its toffee and later, under sons
Harold and Eric, for confectionaries such as Quality Street and Rolo.

America. John McIntosh

moved his family to Georgia in 1736 with a group of a hundred
Scottish settlers, founding the town of Darien, Georgia. Lachlan
McIntosh was an American general during the Revolutionary War; while
his cousin William McIntosh moved among the Creek Indian nation to
recruit them to
the American side.

William’s son Chief
William McIntosh
was known as the
“White Warrior” and became a full-fledged chief of the Creeks. However, he was murdered by irate Creeks in
1825. His son Chilly survived the attack
and he, like his half-brother Daniel and nephew Roley, were prominent
Creek leaders
in Georgia and the Indian territory which later became Oklahoma. McIntosh county in Georgia was named after
this distinguished family. The book A
History and Genealogy of Chief William McIntosh
was written by Harriet
Corbin in 1967.

Canada. John
immigrated to Canada from Inverness in 1796 and settled to farm in
Dundas county, Ontario. Fifteen years later he discovered the
original tree which was to bear the famous McIntosh apple.
His sons
and grandson were to oversee the transformation of the McIntosh from a
locally celebrated apple to an important commercial orchard fruit.

McIntosh Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

McIntosh Names

Lachlan McIntosh was an American military and political leader
during the Revolutionary War.
John McIntosh pioneered the
McIntosh apple from his farm in Dundas county, Ontario in 1811.
Charles McIntosh invented in
1823 the waterproofing of cloth with a rubber solution, hence the term
“mackintosh” for raincoat.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh, born in Glasgow, was a Scottish
architect and designer of the early 20th century. He was a
designer in the Arts and Crafts movement and also the main exponent of
Art Nouveau in Britain.

Select McIntoshs Today

  • 22,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Morayshire)
  • 14,000 in America (most numerous in Florida)
  • 23,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)



Click here for return to front page

Leave a Reply