The English surname May, also found in Ireland, is derived from a nickname or personal name taken from the month of May. This name was sometimes bestowed on someone born or baptized in the month of May; it was also used to refer to someone of a sunny disposition. When found in Ireland the name is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Miadhaigh meaning “descendant of Miadhach,” a personal name or byname meaning “honorable, or proud.” The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Mai, which was dated 1167, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk." The first record of the name in the New World is Cornelius May who arrived in Virginia from England in 1616. Today there are 102,000 bearers of the name May living in the US.
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