Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name MacCavanaugh 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 MacCavanaugh family
The surname MacCavanaugh 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
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Early History of the MacCavanaugh family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacCavanaugh research.Another 193 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1889, 1667 and 1739 are included under the topic Early MacCavanaugh History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacCavanaugh 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 MacCavanaugh 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 MacCavanaugh 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 MacCavanaugh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacCavanaugh family to the New World and Oceana
Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine
during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name MacCavanaugh: Charles, Dudley, James, John, Joseph, Michael, Nicholas, Peter, Robert, Thomas and William Cavanagh, who all arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1813 and 1880.