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


Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name McGarvey originally appeared in Gaelic as O Gairbhin, derived from the word "garbh," which means "rough."

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Before widespread literacy came to Ireland, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Accordingly, numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name McGarvey family name. Variations found include Garvin, Garvey, Garwin, Garvine, Garven, Garvan, Garvy, Garvie, Garwen and many more.

First found in County Tyrone (Irish:Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster, central Northern Ireland, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGarvey research. Another 269 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1000, 1527 and 1595 are included under the topic Early McGarvey History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 25 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGarvey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name McGarvey:

McGarvey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • William B McGarvey, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Michael McGarvey, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854
  • David McGarvey, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1857
  • Matthew McGarvey, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1860
  • Phillip McGarvey, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1876

McGarvey Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Anne McGarvey, aged 26, who emigrated to the United States from Ireland, in 1902
  • Bridget McGarvey, aged 25, who landed in America from Donegal, in 1906
  • Annie McGarvey, aged 17, who settled in America from Donegal, Ireland, in 1907
  • Andrew McGarvey, aged 21, who landed in America from Donegal, Ireland, in 1907
  • Alexander McGarvey, aged 20, who emigrated to the United States from Moneymore, Ireland, in 1910


McGarvey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Susan McGarvey arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Eleanor" in 1834

McGarvey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • James Mcgarvey, Scottish convict from Aberdeen, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia

McGarvey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Eliza McGarvey, aged 21, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gainsborough" in 1878

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  • William McGarvey (1861-1924), American priest in the Episcopal Church and rector of St. Elizabeth parish in Philadelphia
  • Morgan McGarvey (1979-1980), American politician, Democratic member of the Kentucky Senate (2013-)
  • Daniel Francis "Dan" McGarvey (1887-1947), American Major League Baseball left fielder who played in one game for the Detroit Tigers on May 18, 1912
  • John William "J. W." McGarvey (1829-1911), American minister, author, and religious educator in the American Restoration Movement
  • Robert Neill McGarvey (1888-1952), American politician, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania (1947-1949)
  • Stan McGarvey (b. 1949), American former football coach, NAIA Division II Coach of the Year (1980)
  • Robert Neill McGarvey (1888-1952), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 2nd District, 1947-49; Defeated, 1948
  • John N. McGarvey, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1936
  • David C. McGarvey, American politician, Candidate in primary for Circuit Judge in Michigan 4th Circuit, 1974
  • B. A. McGarvey, American politician, Dry Candidate for Delegate to Pennsylvania convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933

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  1. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. 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).
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. 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.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  11. ...

The McGarvey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McGarvey 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 1 November 2015 at 19:50.

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