Show ContentsMcGonigal 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 McGonigal is Mag Congail, which means son of the most valorous one.

Early Origins of the McGonigal family

The surname McGonigal 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 McGonigal family

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

McGonigal Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name McGonigal revealed spelling variations, including MacGonigle, MacGonagle, Magonagle, Magonigele and many more.

Early Notables of the McGonigal family (pre 1700)

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

McGonigal Ranking

In the United States, the name McGonigal is the 18,573rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States McGonigal migration to the United States +

In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the McGonigal family came to North America quite early:

McGonigal Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Isabella McGonigal, who arrived in New York in 1835 [2]
  • John McGonigal, aged 39, who landed in Alabama in 1858 [2]
  • Patrick McGonigal, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1874 [2]
McGonigal Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Patrick McGonigal, aged 24, who immigrated to the United States from Donegal, Ireland, in 1907
  • Fanny McGonigal, aged 22, who landed in America from Donegal, in 1907
  • Daniel McGonigal, aged 21, who landed in America from Donegal, Ireland, in 1907
  • Jerry McGonigal, aged 30, who immigrated to the United States from Donegal, Ireland, in 1909
  • Ellen McGonigal, aged 22, who settled in America from Falcarragh, Ireland, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name McGonigal (post 1700) +

  • Jane McGonigal Ph.D. (b. 1977), American computer game designer, games researcher, and author
  • William C. McGonigal, American Democratic Party politician, Postmaster at Auburn, Indiana, 1858-59 [3]
  • R. J. McGonigal, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kansas, 1908 [3]
  • Donal F. McGonigal, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Beirut, 1929-30; Salonika, 1932; Amsterdam, 1938; Glasgow, 1941-43 [3]
  • Sir Ambrose Joseph McGonigal MC, QC (1917-1979), Northern Irish author, Lord Justice of Appeal (1975)
  • David McGonigal (b. 1950), Australian travel writer, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
  • Allan McGonigal (b. 1964), Scottish footballer
  • Pearl Kathryne McGonigal CM, OM (b. 1929), Canadian politician, 19th Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba 1981 to 1986

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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