Cavenagh History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name Cavenagh 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 Cavenagh family

The surname Cavenagh 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. [1]

Important Dates for the Cavenagh family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cavenagh research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1889, 1667 and 1739 are included under the topic Early Cavenagh History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cavenagh 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 Cavenagh 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 Cavenagh family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Christian Davies (1667-1739), born Christian Cavanagh in Dublin, also known as Kit Cavanagh and Mother Ross was a...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cavenagh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cavenagh 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 Cavenagh family came to North America quite early:

Cavenagh Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ellen Cavenagh, who landed in Maryland in 1678 [2]
  • Mary Cavenagh, who arrived in Maryland in 1678 [2]
Cavenagh Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Tho Cavenagh, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [2]
  • Garret Cavenagh, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [2]
  • Michael Cavenagh, aged 17, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1776 [2]
Cavenagh Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Cavenagh, aged 27, who arrived in New York in 1812 [2]
  • Bernard Cavenagh, aged 23, who arrived in New York in 1812 [2]
  • Peter Cavenagh, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County Pennsylvania in 1838 [2]
  • Pat Cavenagh, aged 20, who arrived in New York in 1854 [2]
  • Micl Cavenagh, aged 22, who landed in New York in 1854 [2]

Cavenagh migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Cavenagh Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Cavenagh, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

Cavenagh migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Cavenagh Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Cavenagh, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865

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Citations

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ 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)
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