Show ContentsMcGuirk History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name McGuirk has changed considerably in the time that has passed since its genesis. It originally appeared in Gaelic as Mag Oirc.

Early Origins of the McGuirk family

The surname McGuirk was first found in County Tyrone (Irish:Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster, central Northern Ireland. They were descended from King Niall of the Nine Hostages, who died in France in the year 365 A.D. McGurk meant "son of Corc.".

Early History of the McGuirk family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGuirk research. Another 169 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1294, 1314, 1542, and 1890 are included under the topic Early McGuirk History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McGuirk Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, a standardized literary language known by the general population of Ireland was a thing of fiction. When a person's name was recorded by one of the few literate scribes, it was up that particular scribe to decide how to spell an individual's name. So a person could have several spelling variations of his name recorded during a single lifetime. Research into the name McGuirk revealed many variations, including McGurk, McGurrk, McGuirk, MacGuirk, MacGurk and many more.

Early Notables of the McGuirk family (pre 1700)

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

United States McGuirk migration to the United States +

Ireland saw an enormous decrease in its population in the 19th century due to immigration and death. This pattern of immigration began slowly in the late 18th century and gradually grew throughout the early portion of the 19th century. However, a dramatic increase in the country's immigration numbers occurred when the Great Potato Famine struck in the 1840s. The early immigrants to North America were primarily destined to be farmers tending to their own plot of land, those that came later initially settled within pre-established urban centers. These urban immigrants provided the cheap labor that the fast developing United States and soon to be Canada required. Regardless of their new lifestyle in North America, the Irish immigrants to the United States and Canada made invaluable contributions to their newly adopted societies. An investigation of immigrant and passenger lists revealed many McGuirks:

McGuirk Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Ann McGuirk, who settled in Waldoboro Massachusetts in 1821
  • Ann McGuirk, aged 19, who landed in America in 1821 [1]
  • John, Matthew, Michael, and Patrick McGuirk also, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1821 and 1876

Australia McGuirk migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

McGuirk Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Eliza McGuirk, aged 30, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Europa" [2]
  • Bridget McGuirk, aged 19, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "John Banks" [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name McGuirk (post 1700) +

  • Bernard J. McGuirk (1957-2022), American radio personality, host at WABC in New York City, executive producer of the Imus in the Morning radio program
  • William Edward McGuirk (1918-2005), American banker, Chairman of Mercantile Bankshares Corp (1970-1984)
  • Warren P. McGuirk (1906-1981), American dean of the School of Physical Education and Director of Athletics at the University of Massachusetts
  • Terry McGuirk, currently the American chairman of Major League Baseball 's Atlanta Braves
  • Michelle McGuirk (b. 1958), American professional wrestling personality
  • Leroy Michael McGuirk (1910-1988), American wrestler and professional wrestling promoter
  • Russell H. McGuirk, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from New Hampshire 1st District, 1956 [4]
  • Harry James McGuirk (1923-1992), American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Maryland, 1964; Member of Maryland State Senate District 12; Elected 1966; Elected unopposed 1970 [4]
  • Don McGuirk, American Republican politician, Member of Nevada State Senate, 1950 [4]
  • Bill McGuirk (1930-2001), English actor, known for his work in The Case of the Frightened Lady (1983), Strike: The Birth of Solidarity (1981) and Doctor Who (1963)

The McGuirk Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Lamh dearg Eirinn
Motto Translation: The red hand for Ireland.

  1. 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)
  2. South Australian Register Monday 14th May 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Europa 1855. Retrieved
  3. South Australian Register Wednesday 30th May 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) John Banks 1855. Retrieved
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 22) . Retrieved from on Facebook