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


The Irish surname McAvoy originally appeared in Gaelic as "Mac Fhiodhbhuidhe," which is probably derived from the word "fiodhbhadhach," referring to "a woodman."

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The surname McAvoy was first found in Wexford (Irish: Loch Garman), founded by Vikings as Waesfjord, and located in Southeastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Many spelling variations of the surname McAvoy can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include McEvoy, Evoy, McGilloway, McVeagh, McVeigh, McAvoy, McElwee, McElwy and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McAvoy research. Another 241 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1100 and 1563 are included under the topic Early McAvoy History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early McAvoy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name McAvoy:

McAvoy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John McAvoy, who arrived in America in 1811
  • James McAvoy, aged 30, landed in New York in 1812
  • Richard McAvoy, aged 30, landed in New York in 1812
  • Patrick McAvoy, who arrived in New York in 1836
  • Luke McAvoy, who landed in Mississippi in 1844


McAvoy Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Daniel McAvoy, aged 18, who landed in America from Drumlish, Ireland, in 1907
  • Andrew McAvoy, aged 32, who landed in America from Ashton Lyne, England, in 1907
  • Elizabeth McAvoy, aged 28, who landed in America from Portadown, Ireland, in 1910
  • Frank McAvoy, aged 23, who landed in America from Mallow, Ireland, in 1911
  • Edward McAvoy, aged 23, who landed in America from Newtownards, Ireland, in 1912


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  • Francis S. McAvoy (1856-1925), American lawyer and politician from New York City
  • Thomas James McAvoy (b. 1938), American federal judge for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • May McAvoy (1899-1984), American silent film actress, known for her starring role in The Jazz Singer
  • George McAvoy (1884-1952), American Major League Baseball player who played with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1914
  • James Eugene McAvoy (1894-1973), American Major League Baseball catcher
  • Joseph J. McAvoy, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County 19th District, 1880
  • John V. McAvoy (d. 1937), American politician, Justice of New York Supreme Court 1st District, 1920-37; Justice of the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court 1st Department, 1933-37
  • James McAvoy, American politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Windham, 1908
  • Clifford T. McAvoy (1904-1957), American politician, Representative from New York 12th District, 1952; American Labor Candidate for Mayor of New York City, New York, 1953
  • Charles D. McAvoy (b. 1878), American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1916, 1924, 1928; U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1920-21, 1933-37

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  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  11. ...

The McAvoy Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McAvoy 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 14 January 2016 at 10:08.

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