Devitt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish Devitt surname is derived from the Irish Gaelic Patronymic name "Mac Daibheid," which means son of David.

Early Origins of the Devitt family

The surname Devitt was first found in on the Inishowen peninsula, in County Donegal, where a sept of this name claim David O'Doherty (d. 1208,) a chief of Cenel Eoghain, as their ancestor.

Early History of the Devitt family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Devitt research. Another 128 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Devitt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Devitt Spelling Variations

Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Devitt dating from that time include MacDaid, MacDavid, McDavid, Dade, MacDade, Devitt, MacDevitt, MacDavitt and many more.

Early Notables of the Devitt family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Devitt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Devitt migration to the United States +

To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Devitt or a variant listed above, including:

Devitt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Devitt, who landed in America in 1811 [1]
  • John Devitt, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812 [1]
  • Mary Devitt, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812 [1]
  • Francis Devitt, who landed in Norfolk, Va in 1817 [1]
  • Elizabeth Devitt, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1832 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Devitt migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Devitt Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Barnabas Devitt, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • Catherine Devitt, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1832
  • Nancy Devitt, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1832
  • Barney Devitt, aged 24, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Perseus" in 1834
  • Mrs. Martha Devitt, aged 30 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Larch" departing from the port of Sligo, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Devitt migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Devitt Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Devitt, aged 27, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Joseph Soames" [3]
  • John Devitt, aged 27, a labourer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Joseph Somes" in 1850 [4]
  • Anne Devitt (aged 20), a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Hooghly" [5]

New Zealand Devitt migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Devitt Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Devitt, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of the Avon" in 1859

Contemporary Notables of the name Devitt (post 1700) +

  • Edward James Devitt (1911-1992), American politician, a U.S. Representative and Judge from Minnesota
  • Mary Devitt, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for California, 1956 [6]
  • Joseph Devitt, American politician, Farmer-Labor Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives from Genesee County 1st District, 1936 [6]
  • James R. Devitt, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1948 [6]
  • James E. Devitt, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1952 [6]
  • James C. Devitt, American Republican politician, Member of Wisconsin State Senate 28th District; Elected 1972 [6]
  • James A. Devitt, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Iowa, 1912, 1916 (alternate) [6]
  • J. Jay Devitt, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Mayor of Yonkers, New York, 1951 [6]
  • J. F. Devitt, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Iowa, 1928 [6]
  • F. Edward Devitt, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 2008 [6]
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 23)
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOSEPH SOMES / SOAMES 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850JosephSomes.htm
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOSEPH SOMES / SOAMES 1850. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850JosephSomes.htm
  5. ^ South Australian Register. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Rodney 1856. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/rodney1856.shtml
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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