Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the MacGinnity family in Ireland
was O Fionnachta, which is derived from the words "fionn," meaning "fair," and "sneachta," meaning "snow."
Early Origins of the MacGinnity family
The surname MacGinnity 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 MacGinnity family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacGinnity research.Another 107 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacGinnity History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacGinnity Spelling Variations
Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations
of the surname MacGinnity were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Maginty, MacGinty, McGinty, Ginty, Ginity, Maginnity, O'Ginty, Genty, MacGenty and many more.
Early Notables of the MacGinnity family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early MacGinnity Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacGinnity family to the New World and Oceana
The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families
for the distant shores of North America and Australia
. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England
. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence
. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland
at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the MacGinnity family relocated to North American shores quite early: 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 MacGinnity 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.