The old Scottish-Dalriadan name MacGavish is derived from the personal name Tammas,
which is the Lowland Scottish form of Thomas.
The Gaelic forms of the name are Mac Tamhais
or Mac Thamhais,
both of which mean son of Tammas.
Early Origins of the MacGavish family
The surname MacGavish was first found in Argyllshire
(Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland
corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland
, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute
, where the first recorded Chief was MacGilla Tamhais whose name became anglicized as MacIltavish. A later Chief, Collen, called the 'good bald Colin' of Dunardarie, son of Gillespick, was directly descended from the Tavish Corr. Although it is reasonably clear that the Clan
was settled in Craignish well before 800 AD, the historical records show little of their activities or family relationships.
Although many historians list this Clan as a sept of the Campbells, and others claim that a relationship to the Frasers existed, there is no good reason to suppose these relationships were the result of anything other than geographical proximity. There has also been some confusion between the MacTavishes and the MacThomas. Here also, the relationship is tenuous - the Thomsons being a separate Border Clan with its own Chief at that time. The Chief of the MacTavishes is considered to be the MacTavish of Dunardrie.
Early History of the MacGavish family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacGavish research.Another 527 words (38 lines of text) covering the years 1355, 1858, 1997, 1755 and 1815 are included under the topic Early MacGavish History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacGavish Spelling Variations
Translation in medieval times was an undeveloped science and was often carried out without due care. For this reason, many early Scottish names appeared radically altered when written in English. The spelling variations
of MacGavish include MacTavish, McTavish, MacTaffish, McTaffish and many more.
Early Notables of the MacGavish family (pre 1700)
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacGavish Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacGavish family to Ireland
Some of the MacGavish family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 79 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacGavish family to the New World and Oceana
These settlers arrived in North America at a time when the east was burgeoning with prosperous colonies and the expanses of the west were just being opened up. The American War of Independence
was also imminent. Some Scots stayed to fight for a new country, while others who remained loyal went north as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of them went on to rediscover their heritage in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic Scottish events. The MacGavish were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Simon McTavish, who arrived in New York in 1764; Elizabeth McTavish, who came to New York in 1765; John George Mactavish, was on record in Montreal, Canada between the years 1782-1798.
The MacGavish Motto
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: Non oblitus
Motto Translation: Do Not Forget Me after Death.