McKevitt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic versions of today's Irish names demonstrate a proud, ancient past. The original Gaelic form of the name McKevitt is O Dochartaigh, from the word "dochartach," which means hurtful or obstructive and in this case, it would be termed as a nickname.

Early Origins of the McKevitt family

The surname McKevitt was first found in at Inishowen, in the barony of Raphoe, in County Donegal, where they were a large and influential sept, and were kin to the O'Donnells.

They were one of the principal Irish clans to resist the Norman invasion of 1170 and were known as the Lords of Innishowen directly descended from the distinguished Irish General King Niall of the Nine Hostages, who was descended from the Heremon line of Irish Kings.

The MacDevitts, who exist in large numbers in Inishowen, are descended from David O'Doherty, a chief of Cinel Conaill who was killed in 1208. Some members of the MacDevitt branch migrated to the territory of Oriel, now counties Louth, Monaghan, and south Down. There the "D" was aspirated creating the early Anglicization MacCaveat, and then the variation MacKevitt.

Expanding their territory, they came to rule the peninsula of Inishowen in the 14th century. However, the poorly-timed and disastrous rebellion against the English crown led by Sir Cahir O'Dougherty in 1608, drastically reduced the power of the once powerful sept.

"The O'Doghertys were a powerful Sept in County Donegal, and were located in Inishowen Barony, of which O'Dogherty was Lord. The Doghertys or Dohertys are numerously represented there at the present time." [1]

Early History of the McKevitt family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKevitt research. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1783, 1587, 1608, 1608, 1677 and 1755 are included under the topic Early McKevitt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McKevitt Spelling Variations

Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the McKevitt family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Dockeray, Dockerty, Dockharty, Dogherty, Dougharty, Dougherty, Doherty, Doherety, Dohertey, Docherty, Docharty, MacDevitt and many more.

Early Notables of the McKevitt family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family name at this time was Sir Cahir O'Dougherty (1587-1608), leader of the rebellion in 1608, the last Gaelic Lord of Inishowen. Angered by the confiscation of his lands for the Plantation of Ulster, he sacked and burned the town of Derry and killed the Governor, Sir George Paulet. He had quarreled with Paulet for some time and some claim that Paulet had assaulted him. The real reason for the...
Another 72 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McKevitt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States McKevitt migration to the United States +

Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name McKevitt:

McKevitt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James McKevitt, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1842 [2]
McKevitt Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Joseph McKevitt, aged 10, who landed in America from Glasgow, in 1906
  • Mary McKevitt, aged 50, who immigrated to the United States from Hackballocross, Ireland, in 1906
  • Thomas McKevitt, aged 8, who landed in America from Glasgow, in 1906
  • Patrick McKevitt, aged 20, who immigrated to America from Down, Ireland, in 1907
  • Sarah McKevitt, aged 45, who immigrated to the United States from Down, Ireland, in 1907
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name McKevitt (post 1700) +

  • Gerald L. McKevitt S.J. (1939-2015), American researcher professor, Priest and archivist based at the University of Santa Clara
  • Thomas McKevitt (b. 1971), American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly 17th District (2006-2017) [3]
  • James Douglas "Mike" McKevitt (1928-2000), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from Colorado (1971-1973)
  • Brian C. McKevitt, American professor of school psychology
  • Hugh King McKevitt, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 1932 [3]
  • Michael McKevitt (1949-2021), Irish republican and paramilitary leader who was convicted of directing terrorism as the leader of the paramilitary organisation, the Real IRA
  • Bernadette Sands McKevitt (b. 1958), Irish republican, wife of Michael McKevitt
  • Karen McKevitt, Irish Social Democratic and Labour Party politician
  • Steve Michael Andrew McKevitt, English writer and academic from Liverpool, visiting professor in brand communication at Leeds Beckett University
  • Anne McKevitt (b. 1967), Scottish entrepreneur, TV personality, author and philanthropist who now lives in Sydney, Australia
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The McKevitt 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: Ar Ndutcas
Motto Translation: Our heritage

  1. ^ Matheson, Robert E., Special Report on Surnames in Ireland with Notes as to Numeric Strength, Derivation, Ethnology, and Distribution. Dublin: Alexander Thom & Co., 1894. Print
  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 8) . Retrieved from on Facebook