Irish surnames are all based on the Gaelic language native to Ireland. The original Gaelic form of the name McOsker is Mag Uidhir, which is derived from the word odhar, meaning dun-colored; in the genitive case, the word is uidhir.
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The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute due to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United States and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the McOsker family relocated to North American shores quite early:
McOsker Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Patrick McOsker, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1822