MacDevit History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The original Gaelic versions of today's Irish names demonstrate a proud, ancient past. The original Gaelic form of the name MacDevit is O Dochartaigh, from the word "dochartach," which means hurtful or obstructive and in this case, it would be termed as a nickname.
Early Origins of the MacDevit family
The surname MacDevit was first found in at Inishowen, in the barony of Raphoe, in County Donegal, where they were a large and influential sept, and were kin to the O'Donnells.
They were one of the principal Irish clans to resist the Norman invasion of 1170 and were known as the Lords of Innishowen directly descended from the distinguished Irish General King Niall of the Nine Hostages, who was descended from the Heremon line of Irish Kings.
The MacDevitts, who exist in large numbers in Inishowen, are descended from David O'Doherty, a chief of Cinel Conaill who was killed in 1208. Some members of the MacDevitt branch migrated to the territory of Oriel, now counties Louth, Monaghan, and south Down. There the "D" was aspirated creating the early Anglicization MacCaveat, and then the variation MacKevitt.
Expanding their territory, they came to rule the peninsula of Inishowen in the 14th century. However, the poorly-timed and disastrous rebellion against the English crown led by Sir Cahir O'Dougherty in 1608, drastically reduced the power of the once powerful sept.
"The O'Doghertys were a powerful Sept in County Donegal, and were located in Inishowen Barony, of which O'Dogherty was Lord. The Doghertys or Dohertys are numerously represented there at the present time." 
Early History of the MacDevit family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacDevit research. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1783, 1587, 1608, 1608, 1677 and 1755 are included under the topic Early MacDevit History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacDevit Spelling Variations
Just like the English language, the Gaelic language of Ireland was not standardized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, one's name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origins of the MacDevit family name include Dockeray, Dockerty, Dockharty, Dogherty, Dougharty, Dougherty, Doherty, Doherety, Dohertey, Docherty, Docharty, MacDevitt and many more.
Early Notables of the MacDevit family (pre 1700)
Notable among the family name at this time was Sir Cahir O'Dougherty (1587-1608), leader of the rebellion in 1608, the last Gaelic Lord of Inishowen. Angered by the confiscation of his lands for the Plantation of Ulster, he sacked and burned the town of Derry and killed the Governor, Sir George Paulet. He had quarreled with Paulet for some time and some claim that Paulet had assaulted him. The real reason for the...
Migration of the MacDevit family
Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name MacDevit: Bridget Dogherty who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849; Alexander, Charles, Cornelius, Daniel, Edward, Francis, George, James, John, Patrick, Thomas, Doherty, all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Ar Ndutcas
Motto Translation: Our heritage