O'cain History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The surname O'cain is an old Irish name that originally appeared in Gaelic as O Cathain or Mac Cathain. This may be related to the ancient name Cahane, which signifies "Beloved." More likely, the surname came from the name Catháin, made up of the Gaelic "cath," or "battle;" and "án," or "one who;" thus the name referred to "the fighting one."

Early Origins of the O'cain family

The surname O'cain was first found in County Londonderry (Irish: Doire), a Northern Irish county also known as Derry, in the province of Ulster. There were two great septs of Ó Catháin, which were apparently quite distinct: Kane (O'Kane) in Ulster, and Keane in Munster and Connacht. A Gaelic family O'Kane emerged in County of Derry: these were the O'Kanes of Keenaght and Coleraine. The founder of this family, is said to be "Eogan," ancestor of the northern Hy Nials, and son of the Nine Hostages, King of Ireland, A.D. 379. The O'Cathain's came into prominence again in the twelfth century (they appear in the Annals of the Four Masters from 1170 onwards) and were next in command to the O'Neill Chieftans of Ulster. There is historical evidence that Dungiven Priory is the tomb of "Cooey-na-Gal O'Cahan," who died in 1385. They also possessed part of Antrim, ruling from the Castle of Dunseverick, which they held from circa 1000 AD to circa 1320 AD, regaining it again in the mid 1500s. The ruins of Dunseverick still remain.

Important Dates for the O'cain family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'cain research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1196, 1617 and 1875 are included under the topic Early O'cain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'cain Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Kane, Kayne, O'Kane, Cain, O'Cain and others.

Early Notables of the O'cain family (pre 1700)

Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'cain Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'cain migration to the United States

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

O'cain Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John O'Cain, who settled in Boston in 1847

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