MacWhaddan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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When the Strongbownians arrived in Ireland, they encountered an established Irish system for creating hereditary surnames. However, like the Irish, the Anglo-Norman Strongbownians frequently had patronymic surnames, a form of surname that was formed from the name of the bearer's father, or another older relative. Therefore, since the Strongbownians' system was in many ways built on the same principles as the Irish, the two systems eventually attained a sort of merger. Since the Stronbownian's names often had Norman names which were French, diminutive suffixes, such as -ot, -et, -un, -in, or -el were added to the name of the bearer's father, or older relative. Another Norman way of creating a patronymic name was to use the prefix Fitz-, which was derived from the French word "fils," and ultimately from the Latin " filius," both of which mean son. The surname MacWhaddan is derived from the personal name Berold. In Munster, the Gaelic form of the surname MacWhaddan is Baróid, while in Connacht, the Gaelic form is Bairéid.
Early Origins of the MacWhaddan family
The surname MacWhaddan was first found in Lincolnshire, where Matthew Baret was recorded between 1150 and 1155. The Barret family was also established in the English counties of Nottinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Hampshire, Yorkshire and Essex. However, they joined Strongbow in his invasion of Ireland in 1172 at the invitation of the King of Leinster, Dermot McMurrough. Strongbow granted lands to the family in County Cork and County Mayo where they became staunchly Irish.
Patrick Barret (d. 1415), was an Irish ecclesiastic and judge, one of the canons of the Augustinian abbey of Kells in Ossory, was consecrated Bishop of Ferns in Wexford by the Pope at Rome in December 1400. 
Not all of the family emigrated to Ireland, but today the name is better known there than in England. By example, "the manor of Ashton, or Ashtorre Barrett, in [the parish of St. Dominick, Cornwall], belonged for many generations to the ancient family of Barrett; but on failure of male issue it passed with an heiress in 1707 to the family of Prestwood." 
Early History of the MacWhaddan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacWhaddan research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1691, 1415, 1400, 1400, 1410, 1412, 1580, 1554, 1555, 1558, 1693, 1631 and 1713 are included under the topic Early MacWhaddan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacWhaddan Spelling Variations
Medieval scribes and church officials spelt names simply the way they sounded, which explains the various name spelling variations of the name MacWhaddan that were encountered when researching that surname. The many spelling variations included: Barrett, Barret, Barett, Baret, Barratt, Barrat, Barat, Baratt, McWhadden and many more.
Early Notables of the MacWhaddan family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family up to this time was Lord of Tirawley; Patrick Barrett (died 1415), an Irishman who held religious and secular high offices in Ireland, an Augustinian Canon at Kells Priory in County Kilkenny, Bishop of Ferns (appointed 1400), concentrated bishop at Rome (1400), Lord Chancellor of Ireland from 1410 to 1412.
John Baret or Barret (d. 1580?), was an English lexicographer...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacWhaddan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacWhaddan family
A great number of Irish families left their homeland in the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century, migrating to such far away lands as Australia and North America. The early settlers left after much planning and deliberation. They were generally well off but they desired a tract of land that they could farm solely for themselves. The great mass of immigrants to arrive on North American shores in the 1840s differed greatly from their predecessors because many of them were utterly destitute, selling all they had to gain a passage on a ship or having their way paid by a philanthropic society. These Irish people were trying to escape the aftermath of the Great Potato Famine: poverty, starvation, disease, and, for many, ultimately death. Those that arrived on North American shores were not warmly welcomed by the established population, but they were vital to the rapid development of the industry, agriculture, and infrastructure of the infant nations of the United States and what would become Canada. Early passenger and immigration lists reveal many Irish settlers bearing the name MacWhaddan: Henry Barrett who settled in Virginia in 1652; Francis Barrett in Virginia in 1653; Patrick Barrett settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1789. In Newfoundland, John, of Poole, Dorset, England, settled in Bread and Cheese Cove, around 1728.
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- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print