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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The Irish name McGarity was originally written in a Gaelic form as Mag Oireachtaigh, which is derived from the word "oireachtach," referring to a member of an assembly. Translating the name into English produces no less than seventeen different synonyms. But the origin of the name is most intriguing. In the 12th century, the name was simply O Roduibh but a Oireachtach O Roduibh at that time caused the name to be shortened to Oireachtach, their present form.

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Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name McGarity dating from that time include Gerrity, Gerty, Gerighty, Gerighaty, Gerety, Gerahty, Garraty, Geraty, Jerety, McGerity, MacGeraghty, MacGartie, MacGarty and many more.

First found in counties Roscommon and Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where they were one of the Hi Maine Septs in Kelly's country. They were direct descendants of the O'Connors, Kings of Connacht, and the Chief of the Clann was one of the four royal chiefs under the O'Connor. The tree on the Coat of Arms illustrates their descendancy from the O'Connors.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGarity research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1585, 1744 and 1598 are included under the topic Early McGarity History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGarity Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name McGarity or a variant listed above, including:

McGarity Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Bernard McGarity, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1853

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  • Rufus P. McGarity, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State Senate 7th District, 1952
  • Technical Sergeant Vernon McGarity (1921-2013), United States Army soldier and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944


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  1. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  2. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  3. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  7. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  8. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  9. 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.
  10. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
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The McGarity Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McGarity 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 21 October 2015 at 11:27.

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