Show ContentsMcGinniss 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 McGinniss is Mag Aonghusa or Mag Aonghuis, which mean "son of Angus." [1]

Early Origins of the McGinniss family

The surname McGinniss 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 McGinniss family

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

McGinniss Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, a person's name was often recorded under several spelling variations during a single lifetime because it was essentially up to the individual scribe's discretion as to how to record an individual's name. Research into the name McGinniss revealed many variations, including Genis, Guinness, Magennis, Guinnessy, McGuinness and many more.

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

United States McGinniss migration to the United States +

In the 18th and 19th centuries, hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants landed on North American shores. Although many of them were merely looking for a free plot of land and living of their very own, many later immigrants were desperately fleeing an overcrowded land that did not have sufficient food for its inhabitants. The exodus from Ireland was greatest during the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine had stricken the island. Although this large influx of Irish was unpopular with the great majority of people already established within the major centers, these Irish were critical to the speedy development of the United States and those colonies that would eventually become known as Canada. These immigrants provided the cheap labor required to build modern roads, bridges, canals, and railways. Research of passenger and immigration lists has shown a number of immigrants to North America baring the name of McGinniss:

McGinniss Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel McGinniss, aged 23, who arrived in New York in 1812 [2]
  • Thomas McGinniss, who landed in New York in 1870 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name McGinniss (post 1700) +

  • Joe McGinniss Jr. (b. 1970), American author, best known for his book The Delivery Man, son of American writer Joe McGinniss
  • Brother Michael J. McGinniss F.S.C., Ph.D.,, American De La Salle Christian Brother and academic, the 28th president of La Salle University
  • Joe McGinniss (1942-2014), American author of nonfiction and novels, probably best known for his book The Selling of the President (1968) and Fatal Vision (1983)
  • Robert L. McGinniss, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for first selectman of Brookfield, Connecticut, 1961, 1963 [3]

  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. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from on Facebook