The most prevalent theory has been that the McDavid family can trace its roots to the deBurgh’s (deBurgo), a Norman family that produced William the Conquerer and his half-brother Robert, the Earl of Montain. With William’s victory at the Battle of Hastings and his subsequent ascent to the throne of England, the deBurghs became firmly entrenched in England’s nobility and thus began the Anglo-Norman reign.
The deBurghs came to Ireland around 1170 AD as part of the conquering forces of King Henry II and his military leader Richard deClare known as StrongBow. The Anglo-Normans quickly imposed their will and their ways on the natives, but over time many intermarried with Chieftans’ daughters and adopted the Irish customs and became part of Ireland’s clan system. Like almost everyone else in Ireland they were Catholic. In later centuries these families came to be known in Ireland as the “Old English”.
The DeBurghs were prominent noblemen in Ireland and possessed great wealth and lands including Glinsk Castle in County Galway in the Southwest part of Ireland. It is at Glinsk Castle where the earliest first reference of MacDavid is found – at the tomb of William Burke MacDavid.