McGarr History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name McGarr is a nickname for a short person. The Gaelic form of the surname is Mac an gheairr, which means son of the short or low-sized man.

Early Origins of the McGarr family

The surname McGarr was first found in Kirkcudbrightshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Chille Chuithbheirt), part of the present day Council Area of Dumfries and Galloway, former county in Southwestern Scotland, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, and were believed to be descended from one of the many (350) chiefs who accompanied the banished King Colla da Crioch, who left Ireland for the Hebrides and south west Scotland in the year 327. This ancient Irish clann were originally from County Armagh in Ireland.

Early History of the McGarr family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGarr research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1684, 1658 and 1890 are included under the topic Early McGarr History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McGarr Spelling Variations

In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. McGarr has appeared as McGirr, McGeer, McGear, MacGirr, MacGeer, McGhirr and many more.

Early Notables of the McGarr family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early McGarr Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the McGarr family to Ireland

Some of the McGarr family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McGarr migration to the United States +

The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name McGarr or a variant listed above include:

McGarr Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas McGarr, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1811 [1]
  • James McGarr, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840 [1]

Canada McGarr migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McGarr Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Susan McGarr, aged 30, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • Susan McGarr, aged 30, a spinster, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834

Contemporary Notables of the name McGarr (post 1700) +

  • Owen McGarr, American politician, U.S. Consul General in Guayaquil, 1885-89; U.S. Consul in Cienfuegos, 1897 [2]
  • Cappy McGarr, American Democratic Party politician, Member, Credentials Committee, Democratic National Convention, 2008 [2]


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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