McWhaddan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
When the Strongbownians arrived in Ireland, they encountered an established Irish system for creating hereditary surnames. However, like the Irish, the Anglo-Norman Strongbownians frequently had patronymic surnames, a form of surname that was formed from the name of the bearer's father, or another older relative. Therefore, since the Strongbownians' system was in many ways built on the same principles as the Irish, the two systems eventually attained a sort of merger. Since the Stronbownian's names often had Norman names which were French, diminutive suffixes, such as -ot, -et, -un, -in, or -el were added to the name of the bearer's father, or older relative. Another Norman way of creating a patronymic name was to use the prefix Fitz-, which was derived from the French word "fils," and ultimately from the Latin "filius," both of which mean son. The surname McWhaddan is derived from the personal name Berold. In Munster, the Gaelic form of the surname McWhaddan is Baróid, while in Connacht, the Gaelic form is Bairéid.
Early Origins of the McWhaddan family
The surname McWhaddan was first found in Lincolnshire, where Matthew Baret was recorded between 1150 and 1155. The Barret family was also established in the English counties of Nottinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Hampshire, Yorkshire and Essex. However, they joined Strongbow in his invasion of Ireland in 1172 at the invitation of the King of Leinster, Dermot McMurrough. Strongbow granted lands to the family in County Cork and County Mayo where they became staunchly Irish.
Patrick Barret (d. 1415), was an Irish ecclesiastic and judge, one of the canons of the Augustinian abbey of Kells in Ossory, was consecrated Bishop of Ferns in Wexford by the Pope at Rome in December 1400. 
Not all of the family emigrated to Ireland, but today the name is better known there than in England. By example, "the manor of Ashton, or Ashtorre Barrett, in [the parish of St. Dominick, Cornwall], belonged for many generations to the ancient family of Barrett; but on failure of male issue it passed with an heiress in 1707 to the family of Prestwood." 
Early History of the McWhaddan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McWhaddan research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1691, 1415, 1400, 1400, 1410, 1412, 1580, 1554, 1555, 1558, 1693, 1631 and 1713 are included under the topic Early McWhaddan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McWhaddan Spelling Variations
Names were simply spelled as they sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, his name was often spelt in many different ways, explaining the many spelling variations encountered while researching the name McWhaddan. Some of these variations included: Barrett, Barret, Barett, Baret, Barratt, Barrat, Barat, Baratt, McWhadden and many more.
Early Notables of the McWhaddan family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family up to this time was Lord of Tirawley; Patrick Barrett (died 1415), an Irishman who held religious and secular high offices in Ireland, an Augustinian Canon at Kells Priory in County Kilkenny, Bishop of Ferns (appointed 1400), concentrated bishop at Rome (1400), Lord Chancellor of Ireland from 1410 to 1412.
John Baret or Barret (d. 1580?), was an English lexicographer...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McWhaddan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McWhaddan family
Irish immigration to North American began in the late 18th century as many Irish families desired to own their own land. This pattern of immigration grew slowly yet steadily until the 1840s. At that time, a failed crop and a growing population in Ireland resulted in the Great Potato Famine. Poverty, disease, and starvation ravaged the land. To ease their pain and suffering the Irish often looked upon North America as a solution: hundreds of thousands undertook the voyage. Their arrival meant the growth of industry and commerce for British North America and the United States. For the individual Irishman, it meant survival and hope, and the opportunity for work, freedom, and ownership of land. The early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name McWhaddan: Henry Barrett who settled in Virginia in 1652; Francis Barrett in Virginia in 1653; Patrick Barrett settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1789. In Newfoundland, John, of Poole, Dorset, England, settled in Bread and Cheese Cove, around 1728.
- Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print