Although the McGarrett surname came to Britain with the Normans
, it derives from the Germanic personal names Gerard, or Gerald, composed of the elements "gar," or "ger," meaning "spear," "hard," meaning "brave," or "strong," and "wald," meaning "rule." The Anglo-Norman surname McGarrett in Ireland
was often Mac Gerailt, and was used as a synonym of Fitzgerald.
Early Origins of the McGarrett family
The surname McGarrett was first found in County Carlow
(Irish: Cheatharlach) a small landlocked area located in the province of Leinster
in the South East of Ireland
, where some of the name may have come from Anglicized versions of MacOrcachta, believed to be descended from Cathal, brother of Teige Mor, of the powerful O'Connors of Connacht
. However, it is thought that the majority of this name in Ireland
are of English (Norman) stock.
Early History of the McGarrett family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGarrett research.Another 143 words (10 lines of text) covering the year 1598 is included under the topic Early McGarrett History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McGarrett Spelling Variations
Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided the early scribes and church officials in recording names. This process of estimation often produced to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations
of the surname McGarrett are preserved in documents of the family history. The various spellings of that name included Garrett, Garratt, MacGarrett, McGarraty, Garret, Garrat, Garet, Garitt, Garatt and many more.
Early Notables of the McGarrett family (pre 1700)
Another 20 words (1 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGarrett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McGarrett family to the New World and Oceana
During the late 18th and 19th centuries hundreds, of thousands of Irish left their homeland for North American shores. The earlier settlers left for the promise of free land or to participate in the development of what was seen as a new land. This pattern of immigration continued for many years, growing at a slow but steady pace. The 1840s, however, forever disrupted this pattern. In that decade, Ireland
experienced an unprecedented plague of disease, starvation, and death, all of which were produced by the failure of the island's potato crop. That decade alone the numbers of people leaving the island rivaled all of the previous years of Irish immigration combined. When these large immigrants hit North American shores they unfortunately encountered more discrimination from the established population. They were, however, very warmly received by industrialists and those with a passion for nation building. The former saw the Irish as a cheap source of labor required for the extraction of coal and lumber, and the manufacture of products, the latter regarded them as a means to occupy the west and to construct the essential bridges, railways, canals, and roadways required by an industrialized nation. Whenever and however the Irish arrived in North America, they were instrumental to the development of what would become the great nations of the United States and Canada. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Irish name of McGarrett: Adam Garrett, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1779; Henry Garrett, who came to New York, NY in 1803; Edwin Garrett, who arrived in New York, NY in 1821.
The McGarrett Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Semper fidelis
Motto Translation: Always faithful.