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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


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

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The surname McGonigle 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.

Before widespread literacy came to Ireland, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Accordingly, numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name McGonigle family name. Variations found include MacGonigle, MacGonagle, Magonagle, Magonigele and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGonigle research. Another 217 words (16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGonigle History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early McGonigle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the McGonigle family in North America:

McGonigle Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Pat McGonigle, who landed in Alaska in 1893
  • Francis McGonigle, aged 27, who landed in America from Fermanagh, in 1893

McGonigle Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Joseph McGonigle, aged 22, who landed in America from Donegal, in 1903
  • Hugh McGonigle, aged 30, who settled in America from Tyrone, Ireland, in 1904
  • Adele McGonigle, aged 22, who emigrated to the United States from Donegal, Ireland, in 1904
  • Bridget McGonigle, aged 20, who settled in America from Donegal, Ireland, in 1904
  • Cassie McGonigle, aged 18, who emigrated to the United States from Donegal, in 1906


McGonigle Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Patrick McGonigle, aged 19, a farm labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Nations" in 1874

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  • Arthur T. "Art" McGonigle (1905-1977), Pennsylvania businessman and the 1958 Republican Party nominee for state governor
  • William C. McGonigle, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Hawaii Territory, 1936
  • Victor J. McGonigle, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Nebraska 3rd District, 1940
  • John M. McGonigle, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Wisconsin State Assembly from Dane County 2nd District, 1938; Member of Wisconsin Democratic State Central Committee, 1954
  • B. E. McGonigle, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Wisconsin, 1936
  • Arthur T. McGonigle, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1956, 1960; Candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, 1958
  • Colm McGonigle, Irish soccer player
  • Brendan O. McGonigle (1939-2007), British University of Edinburgh psychology reader
  • Jerry McGonigle, award-winning Associate Professor of Acting and Directing at West Virginia University


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  1. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  9. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  10. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The McGonigle Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McGonigle 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 30 January 2016 at 08:16.

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