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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish McCormack family come from? What is the Irish McCormack family crest and coat of arms? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McCormack family history?

While many Irish names are familiar, their past incarnations are often shrouded in mystery, reflecting the ancient Gaelic heritage of their bearers. The original Gaelic form of the name McCormack is Mac Cormaic, derived from the forename Cormac.

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During the Middle Ages, scribes listened to a person's name and then decided the spelling from there. Names, therefore, often had many spelling variations. The variations of the name McCormack include: Cormack, MacCormack, McCormack, McCormick, MacCormick, Cormac, Cormick, Cormyck, Kormack, Kormick, Cormach, Cormich, Cormiche and many more.

First found in Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCormack research. Another 265 words(19 lines of text) covering the year 1000 is included under the topic Early McCormack History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early McCormack Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Irish immigrants began to leave the English-controlled Ireland in sizable numbers during the late 18th century. Many of these Irish immigrated to British North America or the United States in the hopes of gaining their own tract of farmland. This pattern of migration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine caused a great exodus of immigrants to North America. These immigrants differed from their predecessors in that they were desperately fleeing the disease and starvation that plagued their homeland, and many were entirely destitute when they arrived in North America. Although these penniless immigrants were not warmly welcomed when they arrived, they were critical to the rapid development of the United States and what would become known as Canada. Many went to populate the western frontiers and others provided the cheap labor the new manufacturing sector and the building of bridges, roads, railways, and canals required. A thorough examination of immigration and passenger lists has revealed some of the earliest people to arrive in North America with name McCormack or one of its variants:

McCormack Settlers in the 17th Century


  • Dennis McCormack, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1654

McCormack Settlers in the 18th Century


  • Duncan McCormack, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749

McCormack Settlers in the 19th Century


  • Lawrence McCormack, aged 40, landed in Tennessee in 1812
  • James McCormack, aged 30, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "John & Mary" from Belfast
  • Catherine McCormack, aged 25, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "John & Mary" from Belfast
  • Henry McCormack, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1836
  • Elenor McCormack, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1840


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  • Ronan "Ronnie" McCormack (b. 1977), Irish professional rugby union player
  • John Francis McCormack (1884-1945), Irish/American tenor
  • Damien McCormack (b. 1987), Australian Footballer
  • John McCormack (b. 1935), Scottish boxer
  • Ross McCormack (b. 1986), Scottish professional footballer
  • Catherine McCormack (b. 1972), English actress
  • Sean McCormack, former United States Assistant Secretary of State (2005 to 2009)
  • Darren McCormack (b. 1988), Scottish professional association footballer
  • Eric James McCormack (b. 1963), Canadian-born, American actor, musician, writer and producer
  • Patty McCormack (b. 1945), American Academy Award nominated actress

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Sine Timore
Motto Translation: Without fear.

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  1. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  2. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  8. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  9. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  10. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  11. ...

The McCormack Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McCormack Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 11 August 2014 at 23:01.

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