The list of surnames that are on the verge of disappearing/presumed extinct include Bread, Relish, Birdwhistle and Miracle. The late jazz composer and musician Sir John Dankworth has fewer than 20 bearers of the name in the UK today, and his daughter, the singer Jacqui Dankworth) admits that it would be up to her niece to continue the name and uphold her father’s heritage.
Some Scottish examples include (with under 20 bearers):
There are only two examples of the surname MacQuoid in the British electoral records. It seems likely that the name is related to MacQuaid (a name still found in Co Monaghan). The meaning of MacQuoid is obscure, and no authority offers an origin (although in Scotland, the name would appear to be affiliated with the MacKay clan).
Loughty is considered as a variation of Lochty, the name of two villages in Tayside (one a couple of miles west of Perth; the other about 6 miles west of Brechin). It is most likely that Loughty, Lochty (also Loughtie) are surnames from a place name. The word 'loch' is, of course, 'a lake or inlet'; and the suffix '-ty' usually signified the diminutive, the implied meaning being 'of, or by a small lake'.
With under 200 bearers:
MacMicking is just one of at least 40 variants, from MacMeeken and MacMichan to McMeikine and MakMakin. Its meaning is lost in the ancient mists, but its origins seem to go as far back as the first half of the Ninth Century to one Mahun, who led an invasion of Galloway. The coat of arms of the clan shows a naked - from the waist up! - warrior, above a shield clutching an arrow. The clan was (and maybe still is) associated with the county of Ayrshire.
Slora seems to have several variations, including Slorra, Slorah, Slorach and Slorrance. There are currently 41 records of Slora, 5 of Slorah and over 200 of Slorach listed in current mainland electoral rolls (which thought to predominate in the Banff and Buchan districts of Scotland). The names are likely to have originated in the Gaelic 'sluagdach' ('leader') and may initially have referred to the clan elder. The names are associated with Clan Davidson.
MacCaa has many clan associations; the most prominent being with the Stuarts of Bute, the Clan MacKay, the Clan MacFarlane, the Clan MacDonald and Clan Galloway. The name is a phonetic variation of MacKay, meaning 'son of Aoh (ie the champion)'. Other similar names in the group are MacCaw, MacCay, MacGaw, MacGee and MacKee. There seem to be over 900 holders of the name in the USA.
I look forward to hearing from all of you MacCaa's...! :)
(With thanks to Ruby Soave)