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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Irish McGary family come from? What is the Irish McGary family crest and coat of arms? When did the McGary family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McGary family history?

The name McGary has changed considerably in the time that has passed since its genesis. It originally appeared in Gaelic as Mag Fhearadhaigh, derived from the word "fearadhach," possibly meaning "manly."


The archives that survive today demonstrate the difficulty experienced by the scribes of the Middle Ages in their attempt to record these names in writing. Spelling variations of the name McGary dating from that time include Garry, Garrihy, Hare, O'Hare, O'Heihir, MacGarry and others.

First found in county Connacht (Irish: Connachta, (land of the) descendants of Conn), where they held a family seat from ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGary research. Another 157 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1585, 1667 and 1668 are included under the topic Early McGary History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGary Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


A massive wave of Irish immigrants hit North America during the 19th century. Although many early Irish immigrants made a carefully planned decision to leave left Ireland for the promise of free land, by the 1840s immigrants were fleeing a famine stricken land in desperation. The condition of Ireland during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s can be attributed to a rapidly expanding population and English imperial policies. Those Irish families that arrived in North America were essential to its rapid social, industrial, and economic development. Passenger and immigration lists have revealed a number of early Irish immigrants bearing the name McGary:

McGary Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John McGary, who landed in America in 1800
  • James McGary, who arrived in America in 1811
  • Peter McGary, who landed in Mississippi in 1846
  • Edward McGary, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850

McGary Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Edward McGary, aged 20, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast
  • Margaret McGary, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1843


  • Austin McGary (1846-1928), American Restoration Movement evangelist and publisher
  • Mitch McGary (b. 1992), American blue chip high school basketball player
  • Ethel McGary (1907-1975), American Olympic freestyle swimmer
  • Phil M. McGary, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Kentucky 4th District, 1980
  • Hugh McGary, American politician, Postmaster at Evansville, Indiana, 1818-19
  • Robert McGary (b. 1962), Irish professional footballer


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: Fear garbh ar mait
Motto Translation: Here is a good rough man.


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  1. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  11. ...

The McGary Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McGary 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 21 October 2015 at 11:27.

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