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McGavish History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



The McGavish family history stretches back to the clans of the Dalriadan kingdom on the sea-swept Hebrides islands and mountainous western coast of Scotland. The name McGavish is derived from the personal name Tammas, which is the Lowland Scottish form of Thomas. The Gaelic forms of the name are Mac Tamhais or Mac Thamhais, both of which mean son of Tammas.

Early Origins of the McGavish family


The surname McGavish was first found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where the first recorded Chief was MacGilla Tamhais whose name became anglicized as MacIltavish. A later Chief, Collen, called the 'good bald Colin' of Dunardarie, son of Gillespick, was directly descended from the Tavish Corr. Although it is reasonably clear that the Clan was settled in Craignish well before 800 AD, the historical records show little of their activities or family relationships.

Although many historians list this Clan as a sept of the Campbells, and others claim that a relationship to the Frasers existed, there is no good reason to suppose these relationships were the result of anything other than geographical proximity. There has also been some confusion between the MacTavishes and the MacThomas. Here also, the relationship is tenuous - the Thomsons being a separate Border Clan with its own Chief at that time. The Chief of the MacTavishes is considered to be the MacTavish of Dunardrie.


Early History of the McGavish family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGavish research.
Another 527 words (38 lines of text) covering the years 1355, 1858, 1997, 1755 and 1815 are included under the topic Early McGavish History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McGavish Spelling Variations


Spelling in the medieval era was a highly imprecise process. Translation, particularly from Gaelic to English, was little better. For these reasons, early Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. In various documents McGavish has been spelled MacTavish, McTavish, MacTaffish, McTaffish and many more.

Early Notables of the McGavish family (pre 1700)


Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGavish Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McGavish family to Ireland


Some of the McGavish family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 79 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McGavish family to the New World and Oceana


Settlers from Scotland put down roots in communities all along the east coast of North America. Some moved north from the American colonies to Canada as United Empire Loyalists during the American War of Independence. As Clan societies and highland games started in North America in the 20th century many Scots rediscovered parts of their heritage. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name McGavish were among those contributors: Simon McTavish, who arrived in New York in 1764; Elizabeth McTavish, who came to New York in 1765; John George Mactavish, was on record in Montreal, Canada between the years 1782-1798.

The McGavish 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: Non oblitus
Motto Translation: Do Not Forget Me after Death.


McGavish Family Crest Products



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