McGonagle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name McGonagle is Mag Congail, which means son of the most valorous one.

Early Origins of the McGonagle family

The surname McGonagle was first found in County Donegal (Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland in the province of Ulster, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the McGonagle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGonagle research. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGonagle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McGonagle Spelling Variations

Just like the English language, the Gaelic language of Ireland was not standardized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, one's name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origins of the McGonagle family name include MacGonigle, MacGonagle, Magonagle, Magonigele and many more.

Early Notables of the McGonagle family (pre 1700)

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


Canada McGonagle migration to Canada +

Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name McGonagle to North America:

McGonagle Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Catherine McGonagle, aged 18, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Salus" in 1833
  • John McGonagle, aged 24, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Nancy" in 1834
  • Eleanor McGonagle, aged 22, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Nancy" in 1834
  • Patrick McGonagle, aged 4, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Nancy" in 1834
  • Hanna McGonagle, aged 11 months, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Nancy" in 1834
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand McGonagle migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McGonagle Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J McGonagle, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1837

Contemporary Notables of the name McGonagle (post 1700) +

  • Captain William Loren McGonagle (1925-1999), United States Naval officer who received the Medal of Honor for his actions while in command of the USS Liberty when it was attacked by Israel in the Eastern Mediterranean on June 8, 1967 during the Six-Day War
  • Richard Francis McGonagle (b. 1946), American voice actor, known for his work in General Hospital (1963), (500) Days of Summer (2009) and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)
  • Geoffrey McGonagle (b. 1974), Irish dual GAA player
  • De Clan McGonagle (b. 1953), Irish director at the Orchard Gallery in Derry
  • Stephen McGonagle (1914-2002), Irish trade unionist, President of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (1972-1973)
  • William "Peter" McGonagle (1904-1956), Scottish footballer
  • Dean McGonagle (b. 1994), English child actor who appeared in the British soap opera Emmerdale playing the character Luke Dingle from 2004 to 2006


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