McGurk History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the McGurk family

The surname McGurk 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 McGurk family

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

McGurk Spelling Variations

The search for the origins of the name McGurk family name revealed numerous spelling variations. These variants can be somewhat accounted for when it is realized that before widespread literacy people only recognized their name by pronunciation; it was up to scribes to decide how it was to be formally recorded. Variations found include McGurk, McGurrk, McGuirk, MacGuirk, MacGurk and many more.

Early Notables of the McGurk family (pre 1700)

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

McGurk Ranking

In the United States, the name McGurk is the 15,410th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]


United States McGurk migration to the United States +

A massive wave of Irish immigrants hit North America during the 19th century. Although many early Irish immigrants made a carefully planned decision to leave left Ireland for the promise of free land, by the 1840s immigrants were fleeing a famine stricken land in desperation. The condition of Ireland during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s can be attributed to a rapidly expanding population and English imperial policies. Those Irish families that arrived in North America were essential to its rapid social, industrial, and economic development. Passenger and immigration lists have revealed a number of early Irish immigrants bearing the name McGurk:

McGurk Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James and John McGurk, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1799
McGurk Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John McGurk, aged 30, who landed in Maryland in 1813 [2]
  • James McGurk, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1828 [2]
  • Thomas McGurk, who arrived in New York in 1845 [2]
  • Patrick McGurk, who arrived in Indiana in 1852 [2]
  • Peter Miller McGurk, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1868 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada McGurk migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McGurk Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William McGurk, aged 50, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • Martha McGurk, aged 50, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • Thomas McGurk, aged 17, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • John McGurk, aged 10, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • James McGurk, aged 6, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia McGurk migration to Australia +

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

McGurk Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary McGurk, aged 19, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Admiral Boxer"
  • Rose McGurk, aged 22, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Warren Hastings"
  • Bridget McGurk, aged 21, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Bucephalus"

New Zealand McGurk 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:

McGurk Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • C McGURK, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Aurora
  • Neill McGurk, aged 23, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Douglas" in 1873
  • Catherine McGurk, aged 27, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Douglas" in 1873
  • Ann McGurk, aged 17, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Douglas" in 1873
  • James McGurk, aged 20, a ploughman, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waipa" in 1876
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name McGurk (post 1700) +

  • Frank McGurk (1915-1982), American racecar driver
  • W. E. McGurk, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1948 [3]
  • Tom McGurk, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Florida 2nd District, 2002 [3]
  • Joseph F. McGurk (1892-1962), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Dominican Republic, 1945; Uruguay, 1946-47 [3]
  • James McGurk, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1924 [3]
  • Tom McGurk (b. 1946), Irish poet, journalist, radio presenter and sportscaster
  • Anthony "Tony" McGurk, Irish two-time All Star winning former Irish Gaelic footballer
  • Hugh Martin McGurk, Irish former dual GAA player
  • Colm McGurk (1967-2022), hurler and Gaelic footballer from Northern Ireland
  • John McGurk (1874-1944), British coal miner and trade unionist, Chair of the Labour Party (1918-1919)
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The McGurk 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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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 2015, October 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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