There are multitude of rich histories underlying the many Irish surnames in use today. The name McGafery originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac Gafraidh. Gafraidh or Gothraidh equates with the English personal name
Godfrey. Variations that start with the prefix Mac or Mc mean son of Godfrey.
Early Origins of the McGafery family
The surname McGafery was first found in County Fermanagh
(Irish: Fear Manach) in the southwestern part of Northern Ireland
, Province of Ulster
, where they held a family seat
at Ballymacaffrey near Five mile Town in Fermanagh
near the Tyrone
MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
Early History of the McGafery family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGafery research.Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 198 and 1987 are included under the topic Early McGafery History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McGafery Spelling Variations
Irish names were rarely spelled with much consistency during the Middle Ages. As the many spelling variations
of the name McGafery dating from that time attests: MacCaffery, MacCaffrey, MacCafferty, MacAffery, MacAffry, MacAfferty, MacGoffrey, MacGodfrey and many more.
Early Notables of the McGafery family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early McGafery Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McGafery family to the New World and Oceana
The 19th century brought a massive reduction in Ireland's population. It seemed that during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s the Irish people had two options: starve or immigrate. Those that chose the later frequently headed for the United States, hopeful for land, work, and equality. Those determined for free land joined the migration west; while others stayed behind to live in urban centers and often work in factories. Still others began a transitory life in work camps, building the bridges, canals, railways, and highways so critical to the rapidly development of the growing industrial nation. Early passenger and immigration lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name McGafery: Biddy MacCafferty who settled in Newcastle in 1804; Arthur, Charles, Daniel, Edward, Henry, Hugh, James, John, Patrick, and Robert MacCafferty all arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860.