The Clan McGrath Society

About Us

We are a living network of members of the Clan McGrath, in gaelic Clann Mhic Craith. Membership of the Clan is a right of birth (ancestry), adoption or marriage. The name McGrath is derived from Mac Craith, recorded in the ancient Annals of Ireland, a name bestowed upon the descendants of Ahearne, brother of Brian Boru, Ard Ri (High King) of Ireland. 

The name has been anglicised into various forms including McGrath, Magrath, MacRea, Magraw McCreagh etc. All those with a variation of our name are welcome to this site and as members of our Clan.

In Ulster, during the 15th and 16th centuries, our name was commonly spelt as McGragh or Magrath, however most members of our Clan now use the most common anglicised form of Mac Craith as McGrath. meaning Son of (Divine) Grace.

The Clan McGrath Origins

The origins of the Clan McGrath are among the tribe Dal gCais or dalcassians who occupied the territory of Thomond with its heartland in Co. Clare. The McGraths are descended from the line of Cennetig mac Lorcain, Father of Ireland's greatest High King Brian Boru (Imperator Scotorum - Emperor of the Irish). Tradition holds that the McGrath Clan are descended from Brian's brother Ahearne (in Latin Archiarus). 

In Thomond the Clan McGrath forged a special place for themselves as hereditary poets and bards among the Dal gCais, serving Brian and his descendants among the princes of Thomond. Although the McGrath Clan is still found in Thomond, from these beginnings the Clan expanded to the areas were they forged positions of power and wealth, building castles and forging new alliances in Ulster and in Munster where they played a major role in the history of Ireland and where many still reside today..

The Clan McGrath in the 21st Century

By the mid 17th century the Gaelic nobility were largely dispossessed, the Clan McGrath, although managing to negotiate through much of this turbulent time relatively unscathed eventually feel prey to the political and cultural changes now overtaking the old Gaelic order. The Clan McGrath largely lost their lands in Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone, Clare, Tipperary and Waterford. Many sought refuge in mainland Europe where they entered the service of European armies and royal houses.

Today, there are many thousands of families who carry the name McGrath or variations of it with pride and who through their ancestry are members of the Clan McGrath. There are also many who do not carry the surname but who are descended through a female. Whoever you are, wherever you are, you are welcome.

The Clan McGrath organise Clan gatherings and produce our newsletter THE TERMONER to keep our members informed of news and subjects of interest. We also operate an active Facebook page, you can find the link on our home page. The Clan McGrath and Cumman Chlann Mhic Craith / the Clan McGrath Society is also a registered Clan with Clans of Ireland (Finte na h√Čireann). Clans of Ireland authenticates and registers Irish Clans and historical families, promote their interests and provides authentic and scholarly information related to them.

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