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

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

Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name McDermott comes from the Irish Gaelic Mac Diarmada, which means "son of Diarmuid," or, son of Dermot and belongs to the venerable Irish tradition of patronymic naming. However another source claims the name came from the Irish diarmaid, which meant "the god of arms." [1]

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The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name McDermott revealed spelling variations, including Dermott, Dermot, Dermitt, Dermit, McDermott, Dermutt, Dermut, MacDermott, McDermot, MacDermot, MacDermitt, McDermitt, MacDermit and many more.

First found in County Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin) located in central Ireland in the province of Connacht, where the family is believed to have been descended from the Heremon dynasty of Irish Kings and were known as the Princes of Moylurg, or the Kings of Connacht, known as the Clann Mulroona. Specifically they were descended from Teige, a King of Connacht and his son, Murtogh, Prince of Moylurg. Their ancient territories were in the counties of Roscommon and Galway. They were divided into three septs. One of the septs embraced English rule early and relatively painlessly, the other two suffered at the hands of Strongbow's invasion in the 12th century. Of the other two septs, the more prominent is based in Coolavin, in Sligo. This sept was originally found at Moylurg and controlled a large part of Roscommon. The head of this branch was one of the few leaders who is still credited as an authentic chieftain by the Genealogical Office of Ireland, conferring the rightful title The MacDermot. Moreover, the chief is also unofficially styled Prince of Coolavin. The third sept held a family seat at Kilronan in the north of Roscommon, and was referred to as MacDermot Roe, from the word ruadh, which means "red."


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McDermott research. Another 237 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1251, 1320, 1641, 1592, 1717, 1707 and 1717 are included under the topic Early McDermott History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 55 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McDermott Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the McDermott family came to North America quite early:

McDermott Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Angus McDermott, who landed in Maryland in 1716
  • Cornelius McDermott, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746

McDermott Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Hen McDermott, who landed in America in 1806
  • Henry McDermott, aged 23, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Thomas McDermott, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1816
  • Edwd McDermott, aged 17, arrived in America in 1822
  • Roddy McDermott, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1823


McDermott Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Andw McDermott, who arrived in Canada in 1812
  • Patrick McDermott, aged 23, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Edward Reid" in 1833
  • Margaret McDermott, aged 21, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Edward Reid" in 1833
  • Charles McDermott, aged 24, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Edward Reid" in 1833
  • James McDermott, aged 24, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Edward Reid" in 1833


McDermott Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Joseph McDermott arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Salacia" in 1850
  • Mary McDermott, aged 18, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Lord Raglan"
  • John McDermott, aged 29, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Telegraph"
  • Margaret McDermott, aged 21, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Aliquis"
  • Bridget McDermott, aged 21, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Aliquis"


McDermott Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Deborah McDermott, aged 20, a milliner, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • Martin P McDermott landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1841
  • Thomas McDermott arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
  • Bridget McDermott arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
  • Patrick McDermott arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865


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  • Mark Anthony "Dylan" McDermott (b. 1962), American Golden Globe and Emmy nominated actor from Waterbury, Connecticut
  • John J. McDermott Jr. (1891-1971), the first U.S. born golfer to win the U.S. Open
  • Maurice Joseph "Mickey" McDermott Jr. (1929-2003), American Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher
  • Marcus McDermott (1881-1929), Australian-born American Broadway and American film actor
  • Eugene McDermott (1899-1973), American geophysicist and co-founder of first of Geophysical Service and later of Texas Instruments
  • Brigadier General Robert F. McDermott (1920-2006), first permanent Dean of the Faculty at the United States Air Force Academy
  • Donald "Don" Joseph McDermott (b. 1929), American Olympic speed skater
  • William R. McDermott, American businessman, a co-CEO of SAP AG
  • Charles Joseph "Charlie" McDermott (b. 1990), American Young Artist Award nominated television and film actor
  • Drew McDermott (b. 1949), American Professor of Computer Science at Yale University, a specialist in the area of artificial intelligence

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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: Honor probataque virtus
Motto Translation: Honour and approved valour.

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  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)

Other References

  1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  3. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  5. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  6. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  8. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The McDermott Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McDermott 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 19 April 2015 at 03:47.

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