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 McGiness is Mag Aonghusa or Mag Aonghuis, which mean "son of Angus."
Early Origins of the McGiness family
The surname McGiness 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 McGiness family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGiness research.Another 279 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1539, 1543, 1584, 1640, 1703, 1797, 1798, 1868 and 1759 are included under the topic Early McGiness History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McGiness Spelling Variations
Irish names were rarely spelled with much consistency during the Middle Ages. As the many spelling variations
of the name McGiness dating from that time attests: Genis, Guinness, Magennis, Guinnessy, McGuinness and many more.
Early Notables of the McGiness 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 McGiness Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McGiness family to the New World and Oceana
, as an English-controlled colony in the 19th century, suffered the loss of hundreds of thousands of its native people. The system of land ownership often did not sufficiently provide for the tenants who farmed the land. This was most clearly evidenced in the Great Potato Famine
of the 1840s. Previous years of great demand for grain products and livestock had run the land down. Many landowners foreseeing an upcoming crisis often removed families from the land or forced them to rely on pitifully small plots where only a subsistence living could be made. When the famines of 1845, 46, and 48 hit, many had nothing. Disease and starvation became widespread and families boarded ships for elsewhere any way they could. Those who went to America were instrumental in developing the industrial power known today: many Irish were employed in hard labor positions in factories and in building the bridges, canals, roads, and railways necessary for a strong industrial nation. Research of early immigration and passenger lists has shown that many bearers of the name McGiness: John Guinnessy, who settled in New York in 1849; William Guinnes who settled in Barbados in 1663; Pat and Mary Guinnessy who settled in Quebec with their ten children in 1849..