McCartan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name McCartan has seen many modifications since the time in which it was first devised. In Gaelic it appeared as Mac Artain, which means son of Art.

Early Origins of the McCartan family

The surname McCartan 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.

Early History of the McCartan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCartan research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1350 and 1735 are included under the topic Early McCartan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McCartan Spelling Variations

Many different spelling variations of the surname McCartan were found in the archives researched. These included Scribes and church officials generally spelled a name as it sounded; as a result, a person's name could be spelt innumerable ways in his lifetime. MacCartan, MacCarten, MacCartain, Carton and others.

Early Notables of the McCartan family (pre 1700)

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


United States McCartan migration to the United States +

Ireland, as an English-controlled colony in the 19th century, suffered the loss of hundreds of thousands of its native people. The system of land ownership often did not sufficiently provide for the tenants who farmed the land. This was most clearly evidenced in the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. Previous years of great demand for grain products and livestock had run the land down. Many landowners foreseeing an upcoming crisis often removed families from the land or forced them to rely on pitifully small plots where only a subsistence living could be made. When the famines of 1845, 46, and 48 hit, many had nothing. Disease and starvation became widespread and families boarded ships for elsewhere any way they could. Those who went to America were instrumental in developing the industrial power known today: many Irish were employed in hard labor positions in factories and in building the bridges, canals, roads, and railways necessary for a strong industrial nation. Research of early immigration and passenger lists has shown that many bearers of the name McCartan:

McCartan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John McCartan, aged 28, who arrived in New York in 1867 [1]
McCartan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Arthur McCartan, aged 50, who settled in America from Down, in 1906
  • John McCartan, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States from Down, Ireland, in 1907
  • James McCartan, aged 20, who immigrated to the United States from Castlewellan, Ireland, in 1908
  • Edward McCartan, aged 30, who landed in America from Kilkeel, Ireland, in 1909
  • Charles McCartan, aged 20, who landed in America from Castlewellon, Ireland, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada McCartan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McCartan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Margaret McCartan, aged 40 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Superior" departing from the port of Londonderry, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in September 1847 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name McCartan (post 1700) +

  • Edward McCartan (1879-1947), American sculptor, best known for his decorative bronzes
  • John William "Jack" McCartan (b. 1935), American goaltender for the gold-medal-winning 1960 United States hockey team
  • Seamus "Shay" McCartan (b. 1994), Northern Irish footballer
  • Patrick McCartan (1878-1963), Irish republican and politician
  • James McCartan, retired Irish Gaelic footballer and current manager


The McCartan 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: Buailim se
Motto Translation: I Strike him.


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 42)


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