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Surname MacAvera - Meaning and Origin

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MacAvera: What does the surname MacAvera mean?

The last name MacAvera is derived from the Irish Gaelic phrase Mac an Mhaoir meaning “son of the councilor.” This name is a hereditary title that was used by professional advisors in the court of Celtic Chiefs and other Ui Neill rulers. The term MacAvera is a variation of similar surnames such as MacGerald, MacGovern, MacGill, and MacGilligan.

The surname MacAvera was traditionally found in the province of Ulster, in the north of Ireland. It is believed to be of reduced Irish origin and eroded away from its original form of Mac an Mhaoir. The provincial territory of Ulster has experienced a complex history of English occupation, settlement, and politics.

The 1931 census of Ireland reported the surname MacAvera as almost nonexistent due to many of its members emigrating around the turn of the century or intermarrying with members of other clans. The surname is far less common today, as it is exceedingly rare in birth and marriage records from the mid-20th century.

The current population of MacAvera surname holders largely resides in the United States, Canada, and other parts of the world. While the term MacAvera is not well-known, those holding this name are thought to be a small but proud group of people stemming from long-lasting Irish hereditary roots.

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MacAvera: Where does the name MacAvera come from?

The surname MacAvera is associated with both Irish and Scottish heritage. It is common in both countries today and is especially frequent in Northern Ireland. The name is derived from the Gaelic Mac Amhlaoibh, meaning "son of Humphrey".

In Ireland, the surname can be found in counties including Donegal, Cork, Dublin, and Kerry. In Scotland, the surname is found especially in the Highlands but also in the Lowlands.

In the United States, MacAvera is an uncommon surname, however, given Irish and Scottish immigration in the 17th and 18th centuries, traces of the name can be found in some older records. In the 2000 U.S. Census, MacAvera was found in the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

Worldwide, the surname MacAvera is relatively uncommon. Scotland has the most MacAveras, with 1,944 people bearing the name in 2019. Ireland has 3,445 individuals with the surname, while the United States, Canada, and Australia each have a few hundred.

The surname MacAvera is an interesting example of globalization. It is a combination of both Irish and Scottish heritage, and is one of the names that has been exported from the British Isles across the world.

Variations of the surname MacAvera

The variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin for the surname MacAvera are MacAvery, MacAvoy, MacAffer, MacAfee, MacAffee, MacAffey, MacAfey, MacAfea, McAfer, McAffee, McAfrea, and McAfree.

There are a variety of origin possibilities for this surname. It could be Scottish, Irish, or even English, since most names ending in ‘-er’ or ‘-ay’ would be of the English or Scottish varieties.

The surname may originate from the Irish Mac an Eibhir, meaning "son of Edgar" or from the Scottish Mac an Each aidh, meaning "son of the ploughman". It could also be derived from the name Adam, as MacAdaim, meaning "son of Adam".

In Scotland, the name could also be derived from Mac an Aba, which means "son of the abbot" and MacEachagan, meaning "son of Hogan".

In England, the name may be derived from MacAffer, a title given to the foremen of a manor estate who reported to the justices of the peace during the 13th and 14th centuries.

In Ireland, the name has been Anglicised to MacAffery, which is a variant of MacAvoy and could refer to a descendant of Aibhir, possibly an Irish nobleman who lived during the 11th century.

Other surnames can also be derived from MacAvera, such as MacAffry, MacAfee, MacFry, MacFie, and MacFee. All of these variations are related to or derived from MacAvera.

Famous people with the name MacAvera

  • Mark MacAvera: A visual effects supervisor who has worked on movies such as Zodiac, Transformers, and Mission: Impossible III, as well as TV shows like Stranger Things and American Horror Story.
  • Chris MacAvera: A film executive, entrepreneur, and founder of the Los Angeles based production company, Off the Wall Productions.
  • Joe MacAvera: An American voice actor and theater director, best known for his roles on Digimon and Teen Titans.
  • Adam MacAvera: A British actor whose credits include roles in the films JFK, The Terminator, and Life as a House.
  • Michael MacAvera: A British actor who has appeared in films such as Cutthroat Island and Taking Liberties.
  • Steven MacAvera: An American actor best known for his roles in popular television shows such as Baywatch, Quantum Leap, and Gimme a Break!
  • Stephanie MacAvera: A Canadian actress who has had roles on shows like Street Legal and the Power Rangers franchise.
  • Emma MacAvera: An American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and member of the indie rock band, Deerhoof.
  • Terence MacAvera: A professional motocross racer who has won events like the AMA Motocross National Championship.
  • Patrick MacAvera: An American artist and sculptor best known for his abstract metal works and kinetic sculptures.

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