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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The many Irish surnames in use today have long rich histories behind them. The name McCarty originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac Carthaigh, which is derived from the word "carthach," which means "loving."


The surname McCarty was first found in County Kerry and much of County Cork, in the area formerly known as Desmond. One of the oldest and most important of all Irish families, the MacCarthy family claim descent from Oilioll Olum, the 3rd century King of Munster who gave the region of Desmond to his son Eoghan after his death. Eoghan's descendants were known as the Eoghanacht, and the surname MacCarthy is derived from Carthach, an 11th century lord of this group who was killed when the Lonegans set his house on fire. They were settled at Carrignavar where they were the Lords of Eoghannacht and Diarmod MacCarty Mor swore fealty to King Henry II thereby retaining his estates in Cork. Innumerable members of the family have been important in Irish history, especially those with the forenames Fineen, Florence or Justin, beginning with the Fineen MacCarthy who vanquished the Geraldines in 1261. Several branches of the powerful MacCarthy sept existed, including MacCarthy Reagh, who held a family seat at Carbery in West Cork, and the Muskerry MacCarthys, who were based in the barony of Muskerry in that county. MacCarthy Mor of County Kerry, long thought to be extinct, has only recently been proven to still exist.

During the Middle Ages, attempting to record a Gaelic name in English was a daunting task. Most names were spelt by scribes solely based on how it sounded, one's name could have been recorded many different ways during the life of its bearer. Numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name McCarty family name.Variations found include MacCarthy, MacCarty, MacArty, MacArthy and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCarty research. Another 253 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1446, 1646, 1640, 1628, 1594, 1665, 1694, 1668, 1734, 1698, 1769, 1733 and 1734 are included under the topic Early McCarty History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 271 words (19 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McCarty Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Irish immigrants began to leave the English-controlled Ireland in sizable numbers during the late 18th century. Many of these Irish immigrated to British North America or the United States in the hopes of gaining their own tract of farmland. This pattern of migration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine caused a great exodus of immigrants to North America. These immigrants differed from their predecessors in that they were desperately fleeing the disease and starvation that plagued their homeland, and many were entirely destitute when they arrived in North America. Although these penniless immigrants were not warmly welcomed when they arrived, they were critical to the rapid development of the United States and what would become known as Canada. Many went to populate the western frontiers and others provided the cheap labor the new manufacturing sector and the building of bridges, roads, railways, and canals required. A thorough examination of immigration and passenger lists has revealed some of the earliest people to arrive in North America with name McCarty or one of its variants:

McCarty Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Wm McCarty, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Daniel McCarty, who came to Boston in 1742
  • David McCarty, who settled in Maryland in 1755
  • Austin McCarty, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766
  • Thomas McCarty, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766

McCarty Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Miles McCarty, aged 37, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Andrew McCarty, aged 24, landed in New York in 1812
  • Arthur McCarty, aged 35, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Cornelius C McCarty, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1840
  • Robert McCarty, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840

McCarty Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • William McCarty, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1752

McCarty Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Davis McCarty, who arrived in Canada in 1828
  • Owen McCarty, aged 40, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834
  • Ann McCarty, aged 28, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Perseus" in 1834

McCarty Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Jeremiah McCarty, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • James McCarty arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Ramillies" in 1849
  • Margaret McCarty arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lord Ashburton" in 1850
  • John Mccarty, aged 19, English Convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Aboukir" on December 24, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Bridget McCarty, aged 18, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Fortune"

McCarty Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Cornelius McCarty, aged 22, a farm labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waitangi" in 1874


  • William Henry McCarty Jr., (1859-1881), also known as William H. Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid, an American gunman and frontier outlaw in the American Old West who claimed to have killed 21 men
  • Calvin McCarty (b. 1984), American professional CFL running back for the Edmonton Eskimos
  • Patti McCarty (1921-1985), American actress who appeared in 24 titles
  • George Courtney McCarty (1915-2011), American college basketball coach and athletic director
  • William Bonner McCarty Sr., American founder of the Jitney Jungle supermarkets in 1919
  • William Tibertus McCarty C.SS.R. (1889-1972), American clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop of Rapid City from 1948 to 1969
  • Luther McCarty (1892-1913), American heavyweight boxer, World White Heavyweight Champion (1913)
  • William Mason Mccarty (1789-1863), American politician, U.S. Representative from Virginia, Secretary of the Territory of Florida and later Governor of the Territory
  • Ted McCarty (1910-2001), American Vice President and later President of the Gibson Guitar Corporation (1950)
  • Kelli McCarty (b. 1969), American model and actress, Miss USA in 1991



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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  7. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  8. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  9. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The McCarty Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McCarty 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 20 March 2016 at 14:33.

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