Recorded in the spellings of McGourkey, McGourry, and McGourty, this is an Irish surname. It derives from the pre 10th century surname Mac Dhorchaidh, which loosely translates as"the son of the little dark one" from the ancient word "dorcha" meaning dark. It was never a common name and was orginally found only in County Leitrim. However it is claimed that from the Middle Ages a number of nameholders moved further north to County Fermanagh, where in the 16th century or thereabouts, their name spelling was changed to the Norman-French surname Darcy! It was quite usual at this time for politically correct reasons, for Irish families to adopt "sounds like" English spellings or translations of Gaelic surnames, but this change, if true, went quite a step beyond that. There is no obvious correlation at all between Darcy and this surname. Irish surnames were usually taken from the original nickname for the first chief of the tribe, and this seems to be no different in that respect. Early Irish surname recordings are rare, as most registers were destroyed in 1922 during the Irish Civil War, when the IRA in a fit of vandalism destroyed the Public Records Office. In this case we have recordings from the Irish Famine Lists which show that two brothers Charles and Owen McGourty left the country on the ship "St George of Liverpool", bound for New York, on April 8th 1847.
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