Guinnessy 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 Guinnessy is Mag Aonghusa or Mag Aonghuis, which mean "son of Angus." [1]

Early Origins of the Guinnessy family

The surname Guinnessy 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 Guinnessy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Guinnessy 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 Guinnessy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Guinnessy Spelling Variations

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, was what guided scribes and church officials in recording names, a practice that often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Guinnessy are preserved in documents that were examined for evidence of the family's history. The various spellings of Guinnessy included Genis, Guinness, Magennis, Guinnessy, McGuinness and many more.

Early Notables of the Guinnessy 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...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Guinnessy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Guinnessy migration to the United States +

The 19th century brought a massive reduction in Ireland's population. It seemed that during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s the Irish people had two options: starve or immigrate. Those that chose the later frequently headed for the United States, hopeful for land, work, and equality. Those determined for free land joined the migration west; while others stayed behind to live in urban centers and often work in factories. Still others began a transitory life in work camps, building the bridges, canals, railways, and highways so critical to the rapidly development of the growing industrial nation. Early passenger and immigration lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name Guinnessy:

Guinnessy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Guinnessy, aged 22, who arrived in New York, NY in 1848 [2]
  • John Guinnessy, who settled in New York in 1849
  • John Guinnessy, aged 2, who landed in New York, NY in 1849 [2]
  • Mary Guinnessy, aged 51, who landed in New York, NY in 1849 [2]
  • Pat Guinnessy, aged 13, who arrived in New York, NY in 1849 [2]

Canada Guinnessy migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Guinnessy Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Pat and Mary Guinnessy who settled in Quebec with their ten children in 1849


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ 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)


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