From:  The Surnames of Ireland
By:  MacLysaght

MAC ENTEE  Mac an tSaoi (saoi, scholar).  A sept of Oriel, where both MacAtee and MacGinty are used as synonyms.  Found in Counties Armagh and Monaghan.


MAC ENTEE, MAC GINTY  Occasionally recorded as synonyms these two surnames are of different origin. MacEntee is Mac an tsaoi (pronounced Mac on tee as in the anglicized form). The Irish word saoi is used to denote scholar or simply a cultured person. The MacEntees, formerly more numerous than today, were always located in Oriel, and the name occured there as MacEntee, MacEtye, MacYntie, MacAtee etc., in the Chancery Rolls, Fiants, Hearth Money Rolls, and other sixteenth and seventeenth century records, especially in counties Monaghan and Armagh. MacGinty (Mag Fhinneachta in Irish) is a Donegal surname, now found chiefly in the south-eastern part of Donegal bordering on Tyrone and Fermanagh. It is also (without the prefix Mac) fairly numerous in Co. Mayo; this probably represents the result of the great migration of Donegal families to north Connacht at the time of the Plantation of Ulster. It does not appear in the 1659 "census" or in the Elizabethan Fiants. Jervis MacEntee (1828-1891), a noted American landscape painter, was of Irish ancestry.

Source: website



The Irish surname McEntee is of patronymic origin as are many of the names used in modern times. It is derived from the name of a father. McEntee is an Anglicisation of the Gaelic sept name "Mac an tSaoi" which literally means "son of the scholar or cultured person."

The MacEntees held territory in Oriel, as did the powerful Duffy sept, of which they were a sub-sept. The name is recorded many times in the Hearth Money Rolls and the Elizabethan Fiants of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In those days, it was mainly found in Armagh and in Monaghan. Variants of the name include MacEtye, MacYntie and MacAtee. The name MacGinty has become synonymous with this name, although they are of different origins.

Source:  The Historical Research Center


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