McGarvie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the McGarvie family

The surname McGarvie was 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.

Early History of the McGarvie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGarvie research. Another 135 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1000, 1527, 1595, 1558 and 1560 are included under the topic Early McGarvie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McGarvie Spelling Variations

A name was often recorded during the Middle Ages under several different spelling variations during the life of its bearer because literacy was rare there was no real push to clearly define any of the languages found in the British Isles at that time. Variations found of the name McGarvie include Garvin, Garvey, Garwin, Garvine, Garven, Garvan, Garvy, Garvie, Garwen and many more.

Early Notables of the McGarvie family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name at this time was John Garvey (1527-1595), an Irish Protestant bishop of Kilmore and Archbishop of Armagh. He was the eldest son of John O'Garvey of Morisk, co. Mayo and was born in the county of Kilkenny. "He was educated at Oxford, where he graduated in the reign of Edward VI; but through some negligence his name does not appear in the public...
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGarvie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McGarvie family

Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name McGarvie: James Garvey who settled in Virginia in 1680; Daniel Garvin, an 'enforced' Irish emigrant, sent to America in 1742; Patrick Garve, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1773.


Contemporary Notables of the name McGarvie (post 1700) +

  • William McGarvie (1810-1841), Scottish-born, Australian bookseller and newspaper owner in New South Wales
  • John McGarvie (1795-1853), Scottish-born, Australian Presbyterian minister and writer
  • Richard Elgin McGarvie AC, KStJ, QC (1926-2003), Australian judge in the Supreme Court of Victoria, 24th Governor of Victoria (1992 to 1997), eponym of the McGarvie Model, a proposition for change to the Australian Constitution


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