Cavan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name Cavan is Caomhanach, an adjective denoting association with St. Caomhan. The first Kavanagh, Donal, the son of Dermot MacMurrough, was fostered by a successor of this saint.
Early Origins of the Cavan family
The surname Cavan was first found in County Carlow (Irish: Cheatharlach) a small landlocked area located in the province of Leinster in the South East of Ireland, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. The Kavanaghs (Cavanaghs) were descended from the MacMorough stem and were Lords of Leinster. Donoch McMorough was the King of Leinster, son of Dermod and it was from Donoch from which the Cavanaghs sprang. They were descended directly from the Heremon Line of Irish Kings. Donell, son of Dermot MacMurrough acquired the name Caomhanach, or Cavanagh. His sister Eva married Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke, the leader of the English invasion of Ireland. 
Early History of the Cavan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cavan research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1889, 1554, 1538, 1540, 1541, 1543, 1667 and 1739 are included under the topic Early Cavan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cavan Spelling Variations
The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name Cavan revealed spelling variations, including Cavanagh, Kavanagh, Kavanah, Cavanaugh, Keevan, Cavanaw, Kavanaw, Cavenaugh, Cavanough, Cavaneagh, Cavana, Cavena, Cavinaugh, Kavina, Kavena, Kavanaugh, Cavanach, Kavanach, Cabenagh, O'Cavanagh, O'Kavanagh, Keaveney, Geaveney, M'Cavanna and many more.
Early Notables of the Cavan family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family at this time was Cahir Mac Art Kavanagh, Lord of St. Molyns, Baron of Ballyann (d. 1554), the eldest son of Art Kavanagh of St. Molyns (Teach Molyns), and Chief of his Sept. He took part in the rebellion of the Leinster Geraldines, but submitted to Lord Leonard Grey in 1538. "He renewed his submission to Sir Anthony St. Leger in November 1540, and preferred a request to be allowed to hold his land in feudal tenure. He was anxious, he declared, to imitate his ancestor, Dermot Mac Murrough, king of Leinster, who had introduced the English...
Another 141 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cavan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cavan migration to the United States +
In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Cavan family came to North America quite early:
Cavan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Ellenor Cavan, who landed in Virginia in 1705 
Cavan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- William Cavan, aged 26, who landed in New York in 1812 
- John Cavan, aged 41, who landed in New York in 1812 
- Ann Cavan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1844 
- James Cavan, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 
Cavan migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Cavan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Thomas Cavan, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Maria" from Cork, Ireland
- John Cavan, aged 18, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Maria" from Cork, Ireland
Cavan migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Cavan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Honor Cavan, aged 25, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Europa" 
- Anne Cavan, aged 23, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Bucephalus"
Contemporary Notables of the name Cavan (post 1700) +
- Cavan Clerkin (b. 1973), British television actor and writer
Related Stories +
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
- ^ South Australian Register Monday 14th May 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Europa 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/europa1855.shtml