McGennis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

While many of Irish names are quite familiar to most, their original Gaelic forms are often forgotten and mysterious. The original Gaelic form of the name McGennis is Mag Aonghusa or Mag Aonghuis, which mean "son of Angus." [1]

Early Origins of the McGennis family

The surname McGennis was first found in County Down (Irish:An Dún) part of the Province of Ulster, in Northern Ireland, formerly known as county St Mirren, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the McGennis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGennis research. Another 140 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1539, 1543, 1584, 1640, 1703, 1797, 1798, 1868 and 1759 are included under the topic Early McGennis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McGennis Spelling Variations

The scribes and church officials of the Middle Ages who recorded names in official documents spelled the names as they sounded. This led to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations and thus resembling more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname McGennis that are preserved in archival documents of this era include Genis, Guinness, Magennis, Guinnessy, McGuinness and many more.

Early Notables of the McGennis family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Hugo Magennis (d. 1640) who was the Franciscan Bishop of Down and Connor; the second Viscount Iveagh, Brian Magennis who was killed in action in 1703; Richard and Richard the...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGennis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McGennis migration to the United States +

Ireland experienced a dramatic decrease in its population during the late 19th century. This was in a great measure, a response to England's imperialistic policies. Hunger and disease took the lives of many Irish people and many more chose to leave their homeland to escape such hunger and disease. North America with its promise of work, freedom, and land was an extremely popular destination for Irish families. For those families that survived the journey, all three of these things were were often attained through much hard work and perseverance. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name McGennis:

McGennis Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Bernard McGennis, who arrived in America in 1765 [2]
McGennis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick McGennis, who landed in Mobile County, Ala in 1845 [2]
  • J McGennis, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]
  • Catherine McGennis, aged 13, who landed in New York in 1864 [2]

Canada McGennis migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McGennis Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Patrick McGennis, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1827
  • Miss. Bridget McGennis, aged 1 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "John Munn" departing 16th June 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 13th August 1847 but she died on board [3]
  • Miss. Helen McGennis who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "John Munn" departing 16th June 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 13th August 1847 but she died on board [3]
  • Mr. James McGennis who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "John Munn" departing 16th June 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 13th August 1847 but he died on board [3]
  • Miss. Margaret McGennis who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "John Munn" departing 16th June 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 13th August 1847 but she died on board [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia McGennis migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

McGennis Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Ms. Mary McGennis, (b. 1801), aged 38, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 2nd July 1839, sentenced for 7 years for stealing 3 silver spoons from Thomas Hugoe of Falmouth, transported aboard the ship "Surrey" on 28th March 1840 to New South Wales, Australia [4]


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 87)
  4. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf


Houseofnames.com on Facebook