This Irish surname is one of the many developments of the original 'Mag Fhearadhaigh'. The name is variously translating as 'the son of the descendant of the fearless one', a meaning which no doubt helped to account for its undoubted popularity. It is found in the spellings of MacCarry, McHarry, McGarry, MacAree, and in County Monaghan - King!. This latter form is a strange anglicised corruption which resulted from the similarity of the sound 'Mac an Ri', meaning 'the son of king', although there is no logical connection.It is said that the McGarry's form part of the clan MacHugh of Leitrim and Roscommon, although why this should be so is not clear as the derivation of the surnames is quite different. Examples of the surname recordings for this complex surname include Grizzel McHarry at Killyleagh, County Down, on April 28th 1742, Mary McGarry, christened at Downpatrick, County Down on July 8th 1779, and Mary McCarry, who was a passenger on the ship' Marmion of Liverpool' which sailed from Belfast to New York on May 25th 1846, during the 'Great Famine' of 1846-1848. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nickolas Magheree, which was dated September 28th 1625, a witness at the church of St John the Evangelist, Dublin, during the reign of King Charles 1, known as 'The Martyr', 1625 - 1649. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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