McGuiness History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

While many of Irish names are quite familiar to most, their original Gaelic forms are often forgotten and mysterious. The original Gaelic form of the name McGuiness is Mag Aonghusa or Mag Aonghuis, which mean "son of Angus."

Early Origins of the McGuiness family

The surname McGuiness was first found in County Down (Irish:An Dún) part of the Province of Ulster, in Northern Ireland, formerly known as county St Mirren, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the McGuiness family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGuiness research. Another 140 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1539, 1543, 1584, 1640, 1703, 1797, 1798, 1868 and 1759 are included under the topic Early McGuiness History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McGuiness Spelling Variations

Many different spelling variations of the surname McGuiness exist in the archives researched. Ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. Different spellings that were found include Genis, Guinness, Magennis, Guinnessy, McGuinness and many more.

Early Notables of the McGuiness family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Hugo Magennis (d. 1640) who was the Franciscan Bishop of Down and Connor; the second Viscount Iveagh, Brian Magennis who was killed in action in 1703; Richard and Richard the...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGuiness Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand McGuiness 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:

McGuiness Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Stephen Mcguiness, British settler arriving as the 1st detachment of Royal New Zealand Fencible Corps travelling from Tilbury, Essex aboard the ship "Ramillies" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 6th August 1847 [1]
  • Cornelius McGuiness, aged 59, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1874
  • Micheal McGuiness, aged 22, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1874
  • James McGuiness, aged 33, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Nations" in 1874
  • Thomas McGuiness, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name McGuiness (post 1700) +

  • Christopher Ryan McGuiness (b. 1988), American Major League Baseball first baseman
  • William R. McGuiness (b. 1946), American jurist, Administrative Presiding Justice of the California Court of Appeal
  • P. F. McGuiness, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Torrington, 1920 [2]
  • James J. McGuiness, American Democrat politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Albany County 2nd District, 1951-56 [2]
  • Edwin D. McGuiness, American politician, Secretary of State of Rhode Island, 1887-88, 1890-91 [2]

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Bernard Mcguiness, English Trimmer from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [3]


  1. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  3. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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