McCairn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Gaelic, otherwise known as Early Modern Irish, was used in Ireland from around the year 1200 until the 18th century. It is from this language that we found the first references to the name McCairn as O Ciarain or Mac Ciarain. These names are derived from the word "ciar," which means "black" or "dark brown."

Early Origins of the McCairn family

The surname McCairn was first found in County Mayo (Irish: Maigh Eo) located on the West coast of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the McCairn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCairn research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McCairn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McCairn Spelling Variations

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname McCairn are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Kieran, O'Kieran, Keiran, Keighran, O'Keiran, Kerin and many more.

Early Notables of the McCairn family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early McCairn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McCairn family

During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the McCairn family in North America: James, Patrick and Thomas, who Keiran arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860; John and Thomas Kieran settled in Philadelphia between 1858 and 1868. In Newfoundland, William Kearon, from Tallon, Waterford county, Ireland, was married in St. John's in 1801.



The McCairn Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fidens et constans
Motto Translation: Stand firm on trust.


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