Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the MacGhinty family in Ireland
was O Fionnachta, which is derived from the words "fionn," meaning "fair," and "sneachta," meaning "snow."
Early Origins of the MacGhinty family
The surname MacGhinty was first found in County Londonderry
(Irish: Doire), a Northern Irish county also known as Derry, in the province of Ulster
, where they held a family seat
from very ancient times, enjoying a common heritage with the O'Cahans and the O'Neills. They were descended from the Princes of Limavady in Derry, specifically Conchobhar (Connor) a younger brother of Niall Frasach, brother of the King of Ireland
. Descended from Connor was Gruagan of the Grogans, Dungan, Cathan, Cathusach, Dermod, to his son Con Cionntach, who was first to assume the name of MacGinty, which anglicized is MacGinty and Ginty.
Early History of the MacGhinty family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacGhinty research.Another 107 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacGhinty History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacGhinty 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 MacGhinty family name include Maginty, MacGinty, McGinty, Ginty, Ginity, Maginnity, O'Ginty, Genty, MacGenty and many more.
Early Notables of the MacGhinty family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early MacGhinty Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacGhinty family to the New World and Oceana
became inhospitable for many native Irish families
in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name MacGhinty to North America: George and James McGinnity who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1850 and 1842 respectively; Bernard, Charles, Daniel, Edward, George, James, John, Matthew, Michael, Owen, Patrick, Samuel, Thomas, and Timothy McGinty who settled in Philadelphia between 1846 and 1866.
The MacGhinty 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: Felis demulcata mitis
Motto Translation: A stroked cat is gentle.