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The McGuinness Crest:

The McGuinness sept is believed to be the first family in Ireland to recieve their crest, one version of which is shown below. One source tells us that it was the name Magennis which first recieved this crest with the other McGuinness names getting the same or similar crest a short time later. I haven't yet been able to find what might be called the "original crest".

There are many variations of the crest in use today but most share a common design, a gold lion on a green and white chiefs shield surmounted by the red hand, as shown below.

The McGuinness Family Crest - one variation.
View image full size.

Other variations of this crest include a boar above the helmet, or with two deer, one on either side of the crest. Many representations, obviously modern versions, include the family name in English or Irish or the motto Sola Salus Servire Deo.

An interesting story about the "Red Hand".
Legend tells us that at the start of the Viking invasion two Viking kings were racing to claim the land, one king cut off his hand and threw it on the beach in an affort to be the first to touch and land and thereby claim it, hence the red hand in our crest. It's probably untrue but an interesting story none the less. The same red hand is used on many other family crests and also is used as a symbol of County Tyrone.

But what's the symbolism behind the design??

Meaning of the crest »


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