Origin of the Name McAvoy
family history was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
Variants of the name McAvoy
include McEvoy, McElwee, McGilloway and McVeagh. These families were one of the 'seven septs of Leix', the leading members of which were transplanted to County Kerry in 1609. This sept was called Mac Rhiodhbhuidhe in Gaelic which is pronounced 'mac-ee-vwee', giving the approximate phonetic anglicizations of McEvoy and McAvoy. This sept in early times settled in Leix and became Lords of the territory now comprising the parishes of Mountrath and Raheen in County Westmeath. They were also called Muintir Fhiodhbhuidhe, normally anglicized MacElwee and MacGelloway, names now well known in Counties Donegal and Derry. This Gaelic name is shortened in the spoken language to Mac Abhuidhe, again giving the forms McAvoy and McEvoy.
The McAvoy coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all McAvoy descendants.