McGarrah History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Irish surnames are linked to the long Gaelic heritage of the Island nation. The original Gaelic form of the name McGarrah is "O Gadhra," which is derived from the word "gadhar," which means "dog."
Early Origins of the McGarrah family
The surname McGarrah was first found in County Sligo (Irish: Sligeach), in the province of Connacht in Northwestern Ireland, where they were Chiefs of Coolavin aad Sliabh Lugha.  The surname also spelled Gara, O'Gara, and Gerry is descended from Tiachleach, Lord of South Leyney who was killed in 946 A.D. The Geary family was closely associated with the O'Haras from an early time and the chiefs of the two septs alternated as rulers of Luighne. 
Important Dates for the McGarrah family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGarrah research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGarrah History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McGarrah Spelling Variations
During the Middle Ages, attempting to record a Gaelic name in English was a daunting task. Most names were spelt by scribes solely based on how it sounded, one's name could have been recorded many different ways during the life of its bearer. Numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name McGarrah family name.Variations found include Geary, Gara, O'Gara, O'Geary, Gearie, Gearey and many more.
Early Notables of the McGarrah family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early McGarrah Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McGarrah migration to the United States
Irish immigrants began to leave the English-controlled Ireland in sizable numbers during the late 18th century. Many of these Irish immigrated to British North America or the United States in the hopes of gaining their own tract of farmland. This pattern of migration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine caused a great exodus of immigrants to North America. These immigrants differed from their predecessors in that they were desperately fleeing the disease and starvation that plagued their homeland, and many were entirely destitute when they arrived in North America. Although these penniless immigrants were not warmly welcomed when they arrived, they were critical to the rapid development of the United States and what would become known as Canada. Many went to populate the western frontiers and others provided the cheap labor the new manufacturing sector and the building of bridges, roads, railways, and canals required. A thorough examination of immigration and passenger lists has revealed some of the earliest people to arrive in North America with name McGarrah or one of its variants:
Typical McGarrah Emigration from the United Kingdom to North America
McGarrah Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- George McGarrah, aged 35, who landed in New York in 1812 
Contemporary Notables of the name McGarrah (post 1700)
- James "Jim" M. McGarrah (b. 1951), American Naval officer, Chief of Staff at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, Retired Rear Admiral
- John McGarrah, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Orange County, 1817-18 
- Richard McGarrah Helms (1913-2002), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Iran, 1973-77;
- Richard McGarrah Helms (1913-2002), American Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) from 1966 to 1973 
You May Also Like
- ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
- ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
- ^ 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)
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- ^ Richard Helms. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Richard Helms. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Helms