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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Irish McGraw family come from? What is the Irish McGraw family crest and coat of arms? When did the McGraw family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McGraw family history?

All Irish surnames have underlying meanings that can be traced back to their fullest points when the names first appeared in a Gaelic form. The name McGraw originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac Graith or Mag Raith; these are both derived from the personal name Craith.


One explanation for the many variations is that scribes and church officials frequently spelled the name as it sounded: an imprecise method at best. Understandably then, various spellings of the surname McGraw were found in the many archives researched. These included MacGrath, MacGraw, MacGrauth, Magrath, Magraw and many more.

First found in County Clare (Irish: An Clįr) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGraw research. Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1600, and 1650 are included under the topic Early McGraw History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name McGraw:

McGraw Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas McGraw, who arrived in America in 1810
  • Joseph McGraw, aged 30, landed in New York in 1812
  • Catherine McGraw, who landed in Mississippi in 1825
  • Michael McGraw, aged 22, arrived in New York, NY in 1850
  • Hugh McGraw, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1855

McGraw Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John McGraw, aged 41, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sea Park"
  • Ellen McGraw, aged 22, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sir Thomas Gresham"


  • Private First Class Francis X McGraw, American soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
  • John Harte McGraw (1850-1910), American politician, 2nd Governor of Washington state
  • Eloise Jarvis McGraw (1915-2000), American author of children's books, three-time winner of the Newbery Honor Award
  • Darrell Vivian McGraw Jr. (b. 1936), West Virginian Democratic politician
  • John Joseph "Muggsy" McGraw (1873-1934), American Major League Baseball player and manager
  • James H. McGraw (1860-1948), co-founder of The McGraw-Hill Companies and President of the company from 1917-1928
  • Phillip Calvin McGraw (b. 1950), best known as Dr. Phil, an American television personality, psychologist and author


  • Dunkin-Reid and Garner-McGraw-Mobley Families of South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama by Dean Smith Cress.
  • Early McGraw Families of Arkansas County, Arkansas by Carolyn Cloud Stanley.

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  1. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  7. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  8. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The McGraw Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McGraw 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 5 June 2015 at 10:00.

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