MacGinnass History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
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 MacGinnass is Mag Aonghusa or Mag Aonghuis, which mean "son of Angus." 
Early Origins of the MacGinnass family
The surname MacGinnass 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 MacGinnass family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacGinnass research. Another 140 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1539, 1543, 1584, 1640, 1703, 1759, 1797, 1798 and 1868 are included under the topic Early MacGinnass History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacGinnass 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 MacGinnass are preserved in documents that were examined for evidence of the family's history. The various spellings of MacGinnass included Genis, Guinness, Magennis, Guinnessy, McGuinness and many more.
Early Notables of the MacGinnass family
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 MacGinnass Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacGinnass family
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 MacGinnass: John Guinnessy, who settled in New York in 1849; William Guinnes who settled in Barbados in 1663; Pat and Mary Guinnessy who settled in Quebec with their ten children in 1849..
- MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)