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McGarvey Family HistoryThis ancient and famous Irish surname predates the 1170 a.d. Anglo-Norman Invasion of Ireland. It is a descriptive nickname deriving from "Gabbh" and literally describes one who was "rough and tough!". The name is also a rarity in that not only was it prefixed by both "Mac" and "O", it is also interchangeable with both Garvin and Garvan. Although now popular in Counties Cork and Kerry, the name originates from Ulster, the MacGarveys from County Donegal, the O'Garveys from County Armagh, and specifically the barony of Oneilland East. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Probably the most famous of the early Garveys was John Garvey (1527 - 1595), Protestant Archbishop of Armagh, and holder of the Murrisk Estates...
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