There is a claim by some that the name MacHardy comes from some early ancestor having performed some feat of physical prowess and was thereafter called ‘Hardy’. This is regarded as extremely unlikely. The name is from the Gaelic ‘MacChardaidh ‘, son of the sloe. This is also doubted because of the Gaelic translation and pronunciation for a sloe. The most likely then is from the Pictish personal name ‘Gartnaigh’. This name is found in a similar area to the later MacHardie and was a favourite name with the family of Mar.
The MacHardies had their home in Aberdeenshire where they were numerous, the Strathdon branch counted themselves as part of Clan Chattan and followed MacIntosh. Those Hardies and MacHardies of Crathie and Braemar were followers of Farquharson of Invercauld, who had married the heiress of MacHardy of Invercauld.
The first record of the name does not appear until c.1560, a Thomas Machardy. The records demonstrate the very many spellings: John MakHardie in Crathinaird 1633, John McArdie and Alexander M’Kardie in Invercauld 1696.
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