MacWhaddyn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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 MacWhaddyn is derived from the personal name Berold. In Munster, the Gaelic form of the surname MacWhaddyn is Baróid, while in Connacht, the Gaelic form is Bairéid.
Early Origins of the MacWhaddyn family
The surname MacWhaddyn 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 MacWhaddyn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacWhaddyn 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 MacWhaddyn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacWhaddyn Spelling Variations
Church officials and medieval scribes often spelled early surnames as they sounded. This practice often resulted in many spelling variations of even a single name. Early versions of the name MacWhaddyn included: Barrett, Barret, Barett, Baret, Barratt, Barrat, Barat, Baratt, McWhadden and many more.
Early Notables of the MacWhaddyn 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...
Migration of the MacWhaddyn family
In the mid-19th century, Ireland experienced one of the worst periods in its entire history. During this decade in order to ease the pressure of the soil, which was actually depleted by the effects of the previous years' grain crops, landowners forced tenant farmers and peasants onto tiny plots of land that barely provided the basic sustenance a family required. Conditions were worsened, though, by the population of the country, which was growing fast to roughly eight million. So when the Great Potato Famine of the mid-1840s hit, starvation and diseases decimated the population. Thousands of Irish families left the country for British North America and the United States. The new immigrants were often accommodated either in the opening western frontiers or as cheap unskilled labor in the established centers. In early passenger and immigration lists there are many immigrants bearing the name MacWhaddyn: 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.