|In Ireland, apart from a few MacCurdys
in Co. Derry, the name is found exclusively in Co.
Antrim, as is MacMurtry. MacBrearty, an exclusively
Ulster name, is most common in counties Tyrone and
These three names, and also MacMurty, were all originally in Gaelic Mac Muircheartaigh, from Muircheartach or Murtagh, meaning 'sea ruler'. MacCurdy is common on the islands of Arran and Bute, where it is a variant of MacMurtrie, a sept of Clan Stuart of Bute. In the fifteenth century the MacKurerdys, as they were then called, owned most of Bute. MacCurdy and its variants are still found on Bute but have now disappeared from Arran, Kintyre and the Isles, having become Currie (see Currie).
Across the North Channel, MacCurdy is a well-known Rathlin name, having been for centuries the most common name on the island. It is common too in the Glens and on the north coast of Antrim, to which it probably came with the Stewarts when they arrived at Ballintoy, having lost their lands in Bute in the mid-sixteenth century.
MacBrearty has the same form in Gaelic but is most likely Irish. MacMurty may have the same Irish origin but has become lost in the Scots MacMurtry.