Arrow Downward Arrow Downward Close Close Done Done Cart Cart
Personal guidance

We are always happy to help you! Contact us via e-mail or Whatsapp.

If you would like us to call you back, please provide your phone number and how you can be reached. We will be happy to call you for a personal consultation. WhatsApp

Surname MacArthy - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'M'

MacArthy: What does the surname MacArthy mean?

The last name MacArthy is of Gaelic origin and it translates to 'son of Arty.' The Gaelic phrase ‘mac Arta’ is the source of this surname, where 'mac' means son and 'Arta' means bear, hero or man. This implies a son of the bear, son of the hero, son of the man, or loving. This surname traces its roots back to Ireland, specifically the province of Munster. The powerful MacCarthy Mor dynasty ruled this territory in South-Western Ireland from the 11th to the 17th century. Despite English influences, the MacCarthy clan maintained significant control in the region until the 17th century's political upheaval. The surname remains common in Ireland today, particularly in counties Kerry and Cork. However, due to emigration during and after the Great Famine, there are also many bearers of the MacArthy surname globally, especially in the United States, England, Australia, and Canada.

MacArthy: Where does the name MacArthy come from?

The last name MacArthy is of Irish origin, specifically from the Gaelic name Mac Carthaigh, where "Mac" means son and "Carthaigh" means loving. The MacArthy clan, ruled as Princes of Desmond from the 1200s to the 1600s, were one of the strongest and most significant Irish royal houses, particularly in the southern parts of the country. Today, this surname can be found primarily in Ireland due to the widespread Irish diaspora. However, it is also common in other countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. The spelling of the name has been anglicized in various forms, with "MacCarthy," "McCarthy," and "McCarty" being the most common. Despite changes in spelling, all variants fundamentally have the same Gaelic origin and have been used to represent the same family line. The highest concentration of people with the MacArthy surname is still found in Ireland, particularly in the province of Munster and counties such as Cork and Kerry.

Variations of the surname MacArthy

The surname MacArthy originates from Ireland, specifically deriving from the Gaelic "Mac Carthaigh" where "Mac" means son of, and "Carthach" means loving. Numerous variants and spellings for MacArthy exist due to phonetic translations and Anglicisation over the centuries.

Common variants are McCarthy and MacCarthy, both often used interchangeably. Other variations include MacCarty, Mccarty, MacArthy, and MacArthur. It could also be shortened to Carty in some settings.

Spelling transformations may have resulted from regions where the name was common, such as Munster. Here, it is frequently found as M(a)cCarthaigh.

There are different branches of the MacCarthy clan, each with their own distinct surname: MacCarthy Reagh, MacCarthy of Muskerry, and MacCarthy of Duhallow. These names were adopted to identify the main lines of descent from the original MacCarthy Mor, indicating a geographical variation or a title.

In addition, Anglicisation also produced surname variations like Carthy and McCartha. Finally, there may even be different spellings within the same documents due to changes in literacy and recording practices over time.

Keep in mind this could continue as the name continues to spread across the world, producing more variants and alternate spellings of MacArthy.

Famous people with the name MacArthy

  • Caroline MacCarthy: She is a journalist who has been covering topics such as politics, technology, and culture for over a decade.
  • Cormac MacCarthy: He is an American novelist who is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Road.
  • Cormac MacCarthy: He is an Irish actor who has starred in the films In Bruges, The Grey, and The Guard.
  • Cormac MacCarthy: He is an acclaimed musician from Dublin who has written and performed with Coldplay and U2.
  • Doug MacCarthy: He is a former Canadian politician who served as premier of New Brunswick from 1990 to 1997.
  • Eugene MacCarthy: He is an American political figure who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1951 to 1971.
  • Ewen MacCarthy: He is a British actor who is best known for his roles as Benji Dunn in the Mission: Impossible series.
  • John MacCarthy: He is an American computer scientist who is credited for coining the term “artificial intelligence.”
  • Kiernan MacCarthy: He is an Irish singer-songwriter who is best known for the hit single “Big Strong Man.”
  • Lennon MacCarthy: He is a Scottish singer-songwriter who has released seven studio albums and is best known for his collaboration with Travis on the album The Man Who.

Other surnames


Order DNA origin analysis