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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."

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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.


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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.

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

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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

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  • 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. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  5. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  6. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. 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).
  10. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. 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 April 2014 at 10:56.

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