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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the McGinty family in Ireland was O Fionnachta, which is derived from the words "fionn," meaning "fair," and "sneachta," meaning "snow."


The surname McGinty was first found in County Londonderry (Irish: Doire), a Northern Irish county also known as Derry, in the province of Ulster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, enjoying a common heritage with the O'Cahans and the O'Neills. They were descended from the Princes of Limavady in Derry, specifically Conchobhar (Connor) a younger brother of Niall Frasach, brother of the King of Ireland. Descended from Connor was Gruagan of the Grogans, Dungan, Cathan, Cathusach, Dermod, to his son Con Cionntach, who was first to assume the name of MacGinty, which anglicized is MacGinty and Ginty.

Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name McGinty dating from that time include Maginty, MacGinty, McGinty, Ginty, Ginity, Maginnity, O'Ginty, Genty, MacGenty and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGinty research. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGinty History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


More information is included under the topic Early McGinty Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the McGinty family relocated to North American shores quite early:

McGinty Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John McGinty, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1836
  • Francis McGinty, who landed in Indiana in 1852
  • Hugh McGinty, aged 38, arrived in New York in 1854
  • Bernard, Charles, Daniel, Edward, George, James, John, Matthew, Michael, Owen, Patrick, Samuel, Thomas, and Timothy McGinty who settled in Philadelphia between 1846 and 1866
  • Owen McGinty, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1874

McGinty Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Margaret McGinty, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1834

  • Kathleen Alana "Katie" McGinty, American environmentalist and politician, Pennsylvania Secretary of Environmental Protection (2003-2008), Chairperson of the Council on Environmental Quality (1995-1998)
  • Garnie William McGinty (1900-1984), American historian for thirty-five years at Louisiana Tech University
  • Franklin Alexander McGinty, American recipient of the Navy Cross, eponym of the USS McGinty (DE-365)
  • Joe McGinty, American composer, keyboardist and arranger, best known for his work with The Psychedelic Furs
  • Captain John James McGinty III (1940-2014), United States Marine Corps officer, awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism
  • J. Roy McGinty, American politician, Member of Georgia State Board of Education 7th District, 1947-48
  • Ernestine McGinty, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1952
  • Don McGinty, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kansas, 2012
  • A. B. McGinty, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1964
  • James McGinty, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1912
  • ...

McGinty Historic Events

RMS Lusitania

  • Mr. Thomas Mcginty, English Trimmer from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking

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: Felis demulcata mitis
Motto Translation: A stroked cat is gentle.


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    Other References

    1. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
    2. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
    3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    4. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
    5. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
    6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    7. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
    8. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
    9. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
    10. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
    11. ...

    The McGinty Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The McGinty Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 2 April 2016 at 16:40.

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