All Irish surnames have underlying meanings that can be traced back to their fullest points when the names first appeared in a Gaelic form. The name MacDonagh originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac Donnchadha, which means son of Donnchadh or son of Donagh.
Early Origins of the MacDonagh family
The surname MacDonagh was first found in County Cork
(Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland
in the province of Munster
, where they held a family seat
from ancient times.
Early History of the MacDonagh family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacDonagh research.Another 175 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1698, 1746, 1728, 1746, 1779, 1850, 1878 and 1916 are included under the topic Early MacDonagh History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacDonagh Spelling Variations
Lacking standardized spellings, scribes and church officials recorded people's name according to how they sounded. This practice often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations
of the surname MacDonagh are preserved in the archival documents of the period. The various spellings of the name that were found include Donaghey, McDonogh, McDonnogh, McDonagh and many more.
Early Notables of the MacDonagh family (pre 1700)
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacDonagh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacDonagh family to the New World and Oceana
Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families
left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine
during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name MacDonagh:
MacDonagh Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- James MacDonagh, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
Contemporary Notables of the name MacDonagh (post 1700)
- Oliver Ormond Gerard Michael MacDonagh MA (1924-2002), Australian professor of Irish history
- Joseph MacDonagh (1883-1922), Irish Sinn Féin politician
- Thomas MacDonagh (1878-1916), Irish nationalist poet, playwright, and a leader of the 1916 Easter Rising; he was executed firing squad on 3 May 1916, aged thirty-eight
- Eileen MacDonagh (b. 1956), Irish sculptor
- Donagh MacDonagh (1912-1968), Irish dramatist, writer, judge, presenter and broadcaster
- John Alfred Terence MacDonagh (1908-1986), English oboist and cor anglais player
The MacDonagh Motto
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: Virtutis gloria merces
Motto Translation: Glory is the reward of valour.