Guinness History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
While many of Irish names are quite familiar to most, their original Gaelic forms are often forgotten and mysterious. The original Gaelic form of the name Guinness is Mag Aonghusa or Mag Aonghuis, which mean "son of Angus." 
Early Origins of the Guinness family
The surname Guinness was first found in County Down (Irish:An Dún) part of the Province of Ulster, in Northern Ireland, formerly known as county St Mirren, where they held a family seat from ancient times.
Early History of the Guinness family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Guinness research. Another 140 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1539, 1543, 1584, 1640, 1703, 1797, 1798, 1868 and 1759 are included under the topic Early Guinness History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Guinness Spelling Variations
The scribes and church officials of the Middle Ages who recorded names in official documents spelled the names as they sounded. This led to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations and thus resembling more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Guinness that are preserved in archival documents of this era include Genis, Guinness, Magennis, Guinnessy, McGuinness and many more.
Early Notables of the Guinness family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family at this time was Hugo Magennis (d. 1640) who was the Franciscan Bishop of Down and Connor; the second Viscount Iveagh, Brian Magennis who was killed in action in 1703; Richard and Richard the...
During the middle of the 19th century, Irish families often experienced extreme poverty and racial discrimination in their own homeland under English rule. Record numbers died of disease and starvation, and many others, deciding against such a fate, boarded ships bound for North America. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Unfortunately, many of those Irish that arrived in Canada or the United States still experienced economic and racial discrimination. Although often maligned, these Irish people were essential to the rapid development of these countries because they provided the cheap labor required for the many canals, roads, railways, and other projects required for strong national infrastructures. Eventually the Irish went on to make contributions in the less backbreaking and more intellectual arenas of commerce, education, and the arts. Research early immigration and passenger lists revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Guinness:
Guinness Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
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:
Guinness Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century