All Irish surnames have a unique and often romantic meaning. The name McDay originally appeared in Gaelic as O Deaghaidh or O Diaghaidh.
Early Origins of the McDay family
The surname McDay was first found in County Clare
(Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland
in the province of Munster
, where O'Dea was chief of Dysart-O'Dea, now the parish of Dysart, barony of Inchiquin, one of the original chiefs and clans of ancient Thomond
. Today Dysert O'Dea Castle still stands near Corofin, County Clare
with its Romanesque Doorway and High Cross and was the site of the Battle of Dysert O'Dea in 1318. It was here that the Irish chieftain
Conor O'Dea, chief of the Cineal Fearmaic and ally of Murtough O'Brien, stood his ground only to be defeated by the invading forces from Scotland.
Early History of the McDay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McDay research.Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1318 and 1434 are included under the topic Early McDay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McDay Spelling Variations
Numerous spelling variations
of the surname McDay exist. A partial explanation for these variants 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. Different spellings that were found include Day, Dea, O'Dea and others.
Early Notables of the McDay family (pre 1700)
Notable among the family name at this time was Most Rev. Thomas O'Dea; and Cornelius O'Dea (d. 1434), Archdeacon of Killaloe and later Bishop of Limerick
. Three items of his have survived over the centuries: his Mitre, Crozier and a manuscript now entitled "The Black Book of Limerick." Today, they are all kept in Limerick's Hunt Museum. "According to a legend Bishop Cornelius O'Dea went to Dublin
to attend a synod of bishops without his... Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McDay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McDay family to the New World and Oceana
Many destitute Irish families
in the 18th and 19th centuries decided to leave their homeland, which had in many ways been scarred by English colonial rule. One of the most frequent destinations for these families was North America where it was possible for an Irish family to own their own parcel of land. Many of the early settlers did find land awaiting them in British North America, or even later in America, but for the majority of immigrants that arrived as a result of the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s the ownership of land was often a long way off. These Irish people were initially put to work on such industrial projects as the building of bridges, canals, and railroads, or they worked at manufacturing positions within factories. Whenever they arrived, the Irish made enormous contributions to the infant nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the earliest immigrants to bearer the name of McDay were found through extensive research of immigration and passenger lists: Stephen Day who became a prominent merchant in Virginia soon after arriving in 1638. Another Stephen Daye (1594-1668), was the first printer in New England
, and produced the first book printed in the English colonies. Cambridge Massachusetts granted his three hundred
acres of land for ".
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