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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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

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.


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 and printed products wherever possible.


Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGary Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland
  • 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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    Other References

    1. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
    2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    3. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
    4. 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).
    5. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
    6. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
    7. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
    8. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
    9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    10. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
    11. ...

    The McGary Family Crest was acquired from the 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 3 June 2016 at 08:55.

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