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

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

Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name McGarvey originally appeared in Gaelic as O Gairbhin, derived from the word "garbh," which means "rough."


Before widespread literacy came to Ireland, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Accordingly, numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name McGarvey family name. Variations found include Garvin, Garvey, Garwin, Garvine, Garven, Garvan, Garvy, Garvie, Garwen and many more.

First found in County Tyrone (Irish:Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster, central Northern Ireland, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGarvey research. Another 269 words(19 lines of text) covering the year 1000 is included under the topic Early McGarvey History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name McGarvey:

McGarvey Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • William B McGarvey, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Michael McGarvey, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854
  • David McGarvey, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1857
  • Matthew McGarvey, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1860
  • Phillip McGarvey, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1876

McGarvey Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Anne McGarvey, aged 26, who emigrated to the United States from Ireland, in 1902
  • Bridget McGarvey, aged 25, who landed in America from Donegal, in 1906
  • Annie McGarvey, aged 17, who settled in America from Donegal, Ireland, in 1907
  • Andrew McGarvey, aged 21, who landed in America from Donegal, Ireland, in 1907
  • Alexander McGarvey, aged 20, who emigrated to the United States from Moneymore, Ireland, in 1910


  • Robert Neill McGarvey (1888-1952), American politician, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania (1947-1949)
  • Stan McGarvey (b. 1949), American former football coach, NAIA Division II Coach of the Year (1980)
  • John William "J. W." McGarvey (1829-1911), American minister, author, and religious educator in the American Restoration Movement
  • Daniel Francis "Dan" McGarvey (1887-1947), American Major League Baseball left fielder who played in one game for the Detroit Tigers on May 18, 1912
  • Morgan McGarvey (1979-1980), American politician, Democratic member of the Kentucky Senate (2013-)
  • William McGarvey (1861-1924), American priest in the Episcopal Church and rector of St. Elizabeth parish in Philadelphia
  • Ian McGarvey (b. 1930), Irish politician, Member of Donegal County Council
  • Seamus McGarvey ASC, BSC (b. 1967), Irish multiple Academy Award nominated and BAFTA Award nominated cinematographer
  • Frank McGarvey (b. 1956), British retired football player
  • Scott McGarvey (b. 1963), Scottish former footballer who played from 1980 to 1994, member of the Scotland National Team (1981-1983), current manager of Manchester Maccabi (2009-)



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  1. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  2. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  3. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. 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. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The McGarvey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McGarvey 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 September 2014 at 16:02.

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