Origins Available: Irish
The MacAbee family's roots in Ireland
stretch back to the year 1350, when they were imported to Ireland
as mercenaries, or gallowglasses, from Scotland
by the Irish chiefs of the O'Rourkes and the O'Reillys of Leitrim
and Cavan. This family was named for the peculiar headgear it wore: the name MacAbee comes from the Gaelic word Caba, meaning 'hat' or 'cap.' Thus, it belongs to the nickname
category of surnames.
Early Origins of the MacAbee family
The surname MacAbee was first found in on the Isle of Arran
. Shortly after their arrival in Ireland
in 1350, they became a recognized Breffny
sept with their chief being "Constable of the two Breffnys". This would be their homeland for centuries. They were known as mercenaries to the O'Reillys and the O'Rourkes, but then became their own Sept in Breffny
and their Chief was the 'Constable of the two Breffnys.' During the middle of the 14th century, they were granted lands in Leitrim
, Cavan, Monaghan
and Meath. The MaCabes lost their estates after the battle of Aughrim in 1691.
Early History of the MacAbee family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacAbee research.Another 332 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1601, 1613, 1689, 1740, and 1810 are included under the topic Early MacAbee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacAbee Spelling Variations
of this family name include: McAbbe, Caybe, McCaibe, MacAbe, Abee, McAbeee, McAbbee, Abbee, McCaybe, Cabe, Abeee, MacCabee, MacCabe, McCabe, Cabbe, McAbee, Caibe and many more.
Early Notables of the MacAbee family (pre 1700)
Another 22 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacAbee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacAbee family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Andrew, Anne, Bernard, Bridget, Charles, Edward, Francis, Hugh, James, John, Mary, Michael, Patrick, Peter, and Thomas MacCabe, who all arrived in Philadelphia, Pa. between 1820 and 1860..
The MacAbee Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Aut vincere aut mori
Motto Translation: Either to conquer or die.