Clan Makgill is a Lowland Scottish clan.
For some time people have quoted Dr. George F. Black's The Surnames of Scotland ( Edinburgh: Birlinn, 1999, first published by the New York Public Library, 1946). He said that MacGill was a name that meant "son of the stranger," rendered in Gaelic as "mac an ghòill."
The McGills were not Highlanders, but rather a Lowland clan and family. Thus they were not living in the Gaelic circle in Argyll and the Isles for very long. The McGills descend from Gilli, a Gael who held sway in the Western Isles for his Viking inlaws 1000 years ago. Thus "MacGill," etc., son of Gilli.
Since early spelling was not standardized, there are many spellings of the name in the records. Not one appears in this Gaelic form"mac an ghòill" in documents found so far. There would have to be a person or a family line early on with this spelling.
Some of the ways of spelling the name found by Mr. J. M. McGill (1899–1975), a family historian, of Edinburgh, Scotland (private manuscript), are: MAKGILL (the clan name), McGill, MacGill, Magill, M'Gill, MacGilli, MacGyle, MacGyll, MacGeil, Micghell,Miggill, McGile, Miggel, Miggill, Megil, Mygghil, Kigghil, MacGhil, MacGall,