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

Where did the Irish MacWard family come from? What is the Irish MacWard family crest and coat of arms? When did the MacWard family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the MacWard family history?

The ancient Gaelic form of the Irish name MacWard was Mac an Bhaird, which means son of the bard.

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In the days before Gaelic or English gained any significant semblance of standardization, the scribes who created documents simply recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in the Middle Ages many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research into the MacWard family history revealed numerous spelling variations of the name, including MacWard, McWard, Macanward, MacCanward, MacAward and many more.

First found in County Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacWard research. Another 435 words(31 lines of text) covering the years 1749 and 1794 are included under the topic Early MacWard History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 23 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacWard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Often leaving from racial discrimination and colonial oppression, thousands of families left Ireland in the 19th century for North America aboard passenger ships. Many early immigrants found a plot of land to call their own, something unimaginable for most Irish families. Those that arrived later were often accommodated as laborers since there was a large demand for cheap labor. This was the fate for many of the families that arrived in North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Whether they became agrarian settlers or industrial workers, the Irish that came to North America were invaluable for rapid development of the infant nations of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name MacWard or a variant listed above: Elizabeth McWard, who arrived in Philadelphia from Londonderry in 1851; William McWard, who settled in Philadelphia in 1860; Anabella Ward, who came to Philadelphia in 1857.

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  • Owen Roe MacWard (d. 1849), Irish poet


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  1. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  2. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  3. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  6. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  7. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  8. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  11. ...

The MacWard Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The MacWard 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 27 October 2010 at 13:49.

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