The name MacGreevy has seen many modifications since the time in which it was first devised. In Gaelic it appeared as Mac Giolla Rua, which means son of the red-haired youth.
Early Origins of the MacGreevy family
The surname MacGreevy was first found in County Clare
(Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland
in the province of Munster
, where they were the Chiefs of Clonderlaw, conjecturally descended from Tiobraid, son of Iral Glunmhar, King of Ulster
O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
Early History of the MacGreevy family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacGreevy research.Another 295 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1376, 1638 and 1640 are included under the topic Early MacGreevy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacGreevy Spelling Variations
The scribes and church officials of the Middle Ages who recorded names in official documents spelled the names as they sounded. This led to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations and thus resembling more than one person. Among the many spelling variations
of the surname MacGreevy that are preserved in archival documents of this era include Gilroy, Kilroy, MacGilroy, MacElroy, MacGreevy, Greevy, MacGilrea, McGilroy, McElroy, McGreevy, McGilrea, MacIlrea, McIlrea, Magilroy, Magilrea, MacElry, McElry, MacIlree and many more.
Early Notables of the MacGreevy family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early MacGreevy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacGreevy family to the New World and Oceana
Many Irish families
did not fare so well within the English-ruled Ireland
. Besides racial and religious discrimination, many families were renting out small tracts of farmland from absentee landowners at often unreasonable rates. Beginning in the late 18th century, moderately well off Irish families
decided to emigrate to British North America or the United States in order to own their own plot of land. A radical change occurred in the 1840s, however, with the Great Potato Famine
of the 1840s. Up to this point, the island's population had been increasing rapidly and a steady demand over the years for grain crops had depleted soil. Two failed crops and one poor one caused widespread disease and starvation. Thousands boarded ships looking for opportunities elsewhere. North America welcomed them as a source of cheap labor required for the many industrial and infrastructure projects underway, and as a means to quickly occupy the western regions. Research into immigration and passenger ship lists indicates that people bearing the name MacGreevy were among the earliest settlers to arrive in North America:
MacGreevy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Patrick MacGreevy, 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 MacGreevy (post 1700)
- Thomas MacGreevy (1893-1967), born Thomas McGreevy, Irish poet and Director of the National Gallery of Ireland from 1950 to 1963
- Oliver MacGreevy (b. 1928), Irish actor from Dublin, active from the mid 1950s through 1980