Kavanah 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 Kavanah 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 Kavanah family

The surname Kavanah 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]

Early History of the Kavanah family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kavanah 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 Kavanah History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kavanah Spelling Variations

The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Kavanah were encountered in the archives: 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 Kavanah 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 Kavanah Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Kavanah migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Kavanah Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Michael Kavanah, a bricklayer, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Ann Kavanah, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Theresa" in 1847 [2]
  • Eliza Kavanah, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Theresa" in 1847 [2]
  • Margaret Kavanah, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Theresa" in 1847 [2]


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) THERESA 1847. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1847Theresa.htm


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