Reba McEntire’s name doesn’t look right. That’s what many people are saying, and I agree with them.
Oh, as someone who’s studied genealogy, I understand that her surname can be spelled any of at least a half dozen ways. However, McEntire looks wrong as I write this, and it looks even stranger on her Hollywood Walk of Fame star, shown at right.
The McIntyre (all spellings) name is from Scotland, and it’s the Anglicized version of Mac an tSaoir, meaning “son of the craftsman.”
(I’m relieved that tSaoir isn’t an anagram for Stain.)
Despite the name’s Scottish roots, the largest group of recorded McIntyre immigrants — who entered the U.S. through New York ports — came from Ireland.
Most followed the usual immigrant trail through northern New York state, then Pennsylvania, up through Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois, and then to California.
Reba McEntire ancestors can be traced back to John Zechariah McEntire, apparently born in Philadelphia, PA on 18 Feb 1818. (I say “apparently” because the records seem to stop there, and I see immigrant records in that name for the year 1819. One family came from New Brunswick.) And yes, John Zechariah spelled it McEntire, as well.
From ship’s records entering Philadelphia…
So, Reba McEntire didn’t make up a cute spelling to stand out in the crowd. It really is the name she was born with.
If the “McEntire” spelling looks completely new to you, and you were already familiar with Reba’s career, leave a comment.