The many Irish surnames in use today have long rich histories behind them. The name MacCarthey originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac Carthaigh, which is derived from the word "carthach," which means "loving."
Early Origins of the MacCarthey family
The surname MacCarthey 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.
The McCarthy Reagh branch rose to become the Princes of Carbery in what is now southwestern County Cork in the 13th century. It is generally thought that Donal Reagh MacCarthy, the 5th Prince of Carbery, a quo MacCarthy Reagh, son of Donal Glas was the first to use Reagh is his surname. From this early listing, each subsequent prince continued to use Reagh in one form or another. As far as the early princes are concerned, we know very little. However from Finghin MacCarthy Reagh, the 8th Prince of Carbery from 1477 to his death in 1505, a solid genealogy has been determined.
Early History of the MacCarthey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacCarthey research.Another 127 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1446, 1646, 1455, 1492, 1492, 1490, 1640, 1628, 1594, 1665, 1694, 1668, 1734, 1698, 1769, 1733 and 1734 are included under the topic Early MacCarthey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacCarthey Spelling Variations
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 MacCarthey family name.Variations found include MacCarthy, MacCarty, MacArty, MacArthy and others.
Early Notables of the MacCarthey family (pre 1700)
Notable among the family name at this time was Blessed Thaddeus McCarthy (c.
1455-1492), an Irish ecclesiastic who never ruled his see, Bishop of Ross, Ireland
in 1492 and Bishop of Cork and Cloyne in 1490, his feast day is 25 October; Charles MacCarty (Cormac Oge McCarthy), (d. 1640). He was from the ancient line of Dermot McCarthy, King of Munster
, and was created the 1st Viscount Muskerry in 1628. His motto was "Forti et fideli nihil difficile, " which translates as "to the strong and faithful, nothing is... Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacCarthey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacCarthey family to the New World and Oceana
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 MacCarthey or one of its variants: Daniel McCarty, who came to Boston in 1742; David McCarty, who settled in Maryland in 1755; Alexander McCarthy, recorded in the New York Colonial Muster Rolls in 1760.
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