Show ContentsMcGrew History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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 McGrew originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac Graith or Mag Raith; these are both derived from the personal name Craith.

Early Origins of the McGrew family

The surname McGrew was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the McGrew family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGrew research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1600, 1650, 1523, 1622, 1389, 1400, 1400, 1421, 1423, 1433, 1460, 1463, 1523, 1622, 1523 and 1622 are included under the topic Early McGrew History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McGrew Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, scribes recorded people's names as they saw fit. As a result, surnames often had many spelling variations. For McGrew some of these variations included: MacGrath, MacGraw, MacGrauth, Magrath, Magraw and many more.

Early Notables of the McGrew family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family name at this time was Miler MacGrath (1523-1622), Archbishop of Cashel. Seán mac Ruaidhri Mac Craith (fl. 14th-century), later known as John Macrory Magrath, was an Irish historian known as the author of Caithréim Thoirdhealbhaigh. Mathghamhain Mág Raith, was Bishop of Killaloe, (1389-1400) and Donatus Mág Raith, O.S.A., was Bishop of Killaloe (1400-1421.) Continuing this line was Thaddaeus Mág Raith I, Bishop of Killaloe (1423-1433) and Thaddaeus Mág Raith II, Bishop of Killaloe, (1460-1463.) Miler Magrath (1523?-1622)...
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGrew Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McGrew Ranking

In the United States, the name McGrew is the 3,497th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [1]

United States McGrew migration to the United States +

Irish families began leaving their homeland for North America in the late 18th century. These families were usually modestly well off, but they were looking forward to owning and working on a sizable tract of land of their own. This pattern of emigration continued until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine sparked a major exodus of destitute and desperate Irish people. These people were not leaving for a grant of land in North America because by this time the East Coast had reached its saturation point and free land was scarce. They were merely looking to escape the disease, starvation, and hopelessness that Ireland had fallen into. Although these unfortunate immigrants did not receive a warm welcome by the established populations in the United States and what would become Canada, they were absolutely critical to the rapid development that these two nations enjoyed. They would help populate the western lands and provide the cheap labor required for a rapid industrialization. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many early bearers of the name McGrew or one of its variants:

McGrew Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James McGrew, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1787 [2]
  • John McGrew, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1787 [2]
McGrew Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander McGrew, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1859 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name McGrew (post 1700) +

  • Sam McGrew (b. 1984), former American NFL football linebacker
  • Reggie McGrew (b. 1976), American NFL football defensive tackle
  • Larry McGrew (1957-2004), retired American NFL football linebacker
  • John McGrew (1910-1999), American animator, painter and musician
  • James McGrew (1813-1910), American politician, merchant, banker and hospital director
  • W. D. McGrew, American politician, Mayor of Gillette, Wyoming, 1913-14, 1930-34 [3]
  • Tom McGrew, American politician, Mayor of Columbia, Tennessee, 1960 [3]
  • John McGrew, American politician, Member of Minnesota State House of Representatives 14th District, 1862 [3]
  • James Clark McGrew (1813-1910), American Republican politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Preston County, 1863-65; U.S. Representative from West Virginia 2nd District, 1869-73 [3]
  • James McGrew, American Republican politician, Lieutenant Governor of Kansas, 1865-67 [3]
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Suggested Readings for the name McGrew +

  • Descendants of John Simmons and the Allied Families of Hatton, McGrew, Sherwood, Linthicum, and Cathcart by Ruth Maxwell Graham.
  • McGrew Genealogy by Paul Cornelius McGrew.

  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, February 19) . Retrieved from on Facebook