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

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

While many of Irish names are quite familiar to most, their original Gaelic forms are often forgotten and mysterious. The original Gaelic form of the name Maginnis is Mag Aonghusa or Mag Aonghuis, which mean "son of Angus."


Numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name Maginnis family name. Before widespread literacy, a person entrusted the proper documentation of his name to the individual scribe. As a result, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Variations found include Genis, Guinness, Magennis, Guinnessy, McGuinness and many more.

First found in County Down (Irish:An Dún) part of the Province of Ulster, in Northern Ireland, formerly known as county St Mirren, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Maginnis research. Another 279 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1539, 1543, 1584, 1640, 1703, 1797, 1798, 1868 and 1759 are included under the topic Early Maginnis History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 135 words(10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Maginnis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


North America received thousands of Irish immigrants from the English-ruled Ireland during the 19th century. Once in the United States or what would become Canada, these immigrants quickly contributed to the ongoing settling and industrialization processes. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. An exhaustive examination of immigrant and passenger lists has shown many early immigrants bearing the surname of Maginnis:

Maginnis Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • James Maginnis, who arrived in Maryland in 1819
  • John Maginnis, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1826
  • Michael Maginnis, who landed in New York in 1847
  • E Maginnis, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850


  • Martin Maginnis (1841-1919), American politician, publisher, editor from Minnesota and the Montana Territory
  • Robert Patrick Maginnis (b. 1933), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Jim Maginnis, American professional baseball umpire in the early 20th century
  • William Lyman Maginnis (1858-1910), American Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Wyoming Territory (1886 to 1889)
  • Kenneth Wiggins Maginnis (b. 1938), Baron Maginnis of Drumglass, Northern Irish Ulster Unionist politician
  • Charles Donagh Maginnis (1867-1955), Irish architect, co-founder of the firm Maginnis & Walsh
  • John Edward Maginnis (1919-2001), Northern Irish politician


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  1. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  6. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Maginnis Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Maginnis 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 3 August 2014 at 19:46.

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