McGinnis 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 McGinnis is Mag Aonghusa or Mag Aonghuis, which mean "son of Angus."

Early Origins of the McGinnis family

The surname McGinnis 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 McGinnis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGinnis 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 McGinnis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McGinnis Spelling Variations

Many different spelling variations of the surname McGinnis exist in the archives researched. Ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. Different spellings that were found include Genis, Guinness, Magennis, Guinnessy, McGuinness and many more.

Early Notables of the McGinnis 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 McGinnis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McGinnis 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 McGinnis:

McGinnis Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Catherine McGinnis, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745 [1]
McGinnis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert McGinnis, who landed in Maryland in 1802 [1]
  • Thomas McGinnis, who arrived in America in 1804 [1]
  • Roger McGinnis, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [1]
  • John McGinnis, aged 22, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Edward McGinnis, aged 30, who landed in New York in 1812 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada McGinnis migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McGinnis Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. George McGinnis U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [2]
  • Mr. John McGinnis U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 son of Roberth McGinnis [2]
  • Mr. Richard McGinnis U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 son of Roberth McGinnis [2]
  • Mr. Robert McGinnis U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [2]
  • Mrs. Sarah McGinnis U.E., (McGinness, McGinn, Magin), (nêe Kast) (b. 1716) born in New York, USA who settled in Canada c. 1784 married having one son George [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
McGinnis Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William McGinnis, who landed in Canada in 1832
  • John McGinnis, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • James McGinnis, aged 2, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • Sally McGinnis, aged 25, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • Betty McGinnis, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia McGinnis migration to Australia +

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

McGinnis Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Mr. William McGinnis, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Barwell" in September 1797, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [3]
McGinnis Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Mary McGinnis, aged 36, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Lady Ann"

Contemporary Notables of the name McGinnis (post 1700) +

  • Howard Justus McGinnis (1882-1971), American academic, President of the East Carolina Teachers College (1944-1946)
  • Brigadier-General Harold Alling McGinnis (1893-1986), American Inspector-General, 8th Air Force (1942-1944) [4]
  • Shannon McGinnis (b. 1980), American soap opera actress
  • Scott McGinnis (b. 1958), American actor and director, best known as Mr. Adventure in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  • Ryan McGinnis (b. 1987), American NHL ice hockey player
  • Ross A. McGinnis (1987-2006), American soldier, Medal of Honor recipient
  • George McGinnis (b. 1950), American professional NBA basketball player
  • Charles McGinnis (1906-1995), American Olympic bronze medalist
  • Sid McGinnis (b. 1949), American musician and guitarist
  • Dave McGinnis, former head coach of the Arizona Cardinals
  • ... (Another 33 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barwell
  4. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2013, February 12) Harold McGinnis. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/McGinnis/Harold_Alling/USA.html


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