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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


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 Maginnis is Mag Aonghusa or Mag Aonghuis, which mean "son of Angus."

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The surname Maginnis 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.

Numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name Maginnis family name. Before widespread literacy, a person entrusted the proper documentation of his name to the individual scribe. As a result, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Variations found include Genis, Guinness, Magennis, Guinnessy, McGuinness and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Maginnis research. Another 279 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1539, 1543, 1584, 1640, 1703, 1797, 1798, 1868 and 1759 are included under the topic Early Maginnis History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 135 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Maginnis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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North America received thousands of Irish immigrants from the English-ruled Ireland during the 19th century. Once in the United States or what would become Canada, these immigrants quickly contributed to the ongoing settling and industrialization processes. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. An exhaustive examination of immigrant and passenger lists has shown many early immigrants bearing the surname of Maginnis:

Maginnis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • James Maginnis, who arrived in Maryland in 1819
  • John Maginnis, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1826
  • Michael Maginnis, who landed in New York in 1847
  • E Maginnis, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850

Maginnis Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Michael Maginnis, aged 20, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast

Maginnis Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Anne Maginnis, aged 22, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"
  • Mary Maginnis, aged 20, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"
  • James Maginnis, aged 20, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Amazon"
  • Owen Maginnis (aged 20), a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aurora"

Maginnis Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • William Maginnis, aged 27, a ploughman, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Siberia" in 1870
  • Mary A. Maginnis, aged 21, a servant, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Siberia" in 1870
  • Eliza Jane Maginnis, aged 18, a servant, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Siberia" in 1870

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  • William Lyman Maginnis (1858-1910), American Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Wyoming Territory (1886 to 1889)
  • Jim Maginnis, American professional baseball umpire in the early 20th century
  • Robert Patrick Maginnis (b. 1933), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Martin Maginnis (1841-1919), American politician, publisher, editor from Minnesota and the Montana Territory
  • John Edward Maginnis (1919-2001), Northern Irish politician
  • Charles Donagh Maginnis (1867-1955), Irish architect, co-founder of the firm Maginnis & Walsh
  • Kenneth Wiggins Maginnis (b. 1938), Baron Maginnis of Drumglass, Northern Irish Ulster Unionist politician
  • Mr. Alexander Maginnis (1862-1914), English First Class Passenger from London, England, United Kingdom who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914


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  1. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  9. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  10. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  11. ...

The Maginnis Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Maginnis Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 March 2016 at 15:13.

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