Cavenaugh 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 Cavenaugh 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 Cavenaugh family
The surname Cavenaugh 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 Cavenaugh family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cavenaugh 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 Cavenaugh History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cavenaugh Spelling Variations
Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Cavenaugh were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. 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 Cavenaugh 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 Cavenaugh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
| Cavenaugh migration to the United States ||+|
The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute due to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United States and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Cavenaugh family relocated to North American shores quite early:
Cavenaugh Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Philemon Cavenaugh, who landed in Virginia in 1736 
- Captain Cavenaugh, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1764 
Cavenaugh Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Michael Cavenaugh, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1835 
- Patrick Cavenaugh, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838 
- Peter Cavenaugh, who landed in Mississippi in 1843 
- Edward Cavenaugh, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1849 
| Cavenaugh migration to Canada ||+|
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Cavenaugh Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- James Cavenaugh, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
- 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)