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

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

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. 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.
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  6. 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.
  7. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  11. ...

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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