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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Irish McAvoy family come from? What is the Irish McAvoy family crest and coat of arms? When did the McAvoy family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McAvoy family history?

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


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.

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.


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.


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


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


  • George McAvoy (1884-1952), American Major League Baseball player who played with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1914
  • May McAvoy (1899-1984), American silent film actress, known for her starring role in The Jazz Singer
  • Thomas James McAvoy (b. 1938), American federal judge for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • James Eugene McAvoy (1894-1973), American Major League Baseball catcher
  • Francis S. McAvoy (1856-1925), American lawyer and politician from New York City
  • Alex McAvoy (1928-2005), Scottish actor, best known for his role as Sunny Jim in the BBC Scotland The Vital Spark
  • Andrew McAvoy (b. 1981), Canadian politician
  • George McAvoy (1931-1998), Canadian NHL ice hockey player for the the Montreal Canadiens
  • Gerry McAvoy (b. 1951), born John Gerrard McAvoy, Northern Ireland guitarist
  • James McAvoy (b. 1979), Scottish Golden Globe nominated actor, best known for his role as Charles Xavier in the X-Men: First Class (2011) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)



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  1. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  2. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. 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).
  5. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  8. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  9. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  10. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  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 13 February 2015 at 08:41.

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