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GARVIN Family History

This interesting Gaelic surname recorded in the spellings of Garvey, Garvin, Garvine, Garven, Garavin, Garvan, Girvin and Girwin, and with both Mac and O prefixs is of Irish and Scottish origins. It is an anglicized form of the "Gairbhith", a personal name with the elements "garbh", meaning rough or cruel, and a second element "bith", meaning fate or possibly (ill)fortune. Such a translation would suggest that the first nameholder started from a very poor beginning, (cruel fate), but this is probably not so as traditionally Gaelic family names are taken from the heads of tribes, or from some illustrious warrior.
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