MacKavin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name MacKavin comes from the Irish Gaelic O Cathalain. The Gaelic versions of today's Irish names demonstrate a link to a proud, ancient past. The name is possibly derived from Cathalan, king of Farney slain in 1028, whose name means Little Charles, and from whom the family is thought to have descended. Cathalan was in turn descended from Coleman Mor, the king of Meath and (the 133rd Monarch of Ireland).
Early Origins of the MacKavin family
The surname MacKavin was first found in County Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin) located in central Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.
Caillin ( fl. 560), was an Irish saint, "son of Niata, descended from Rudraighe, whose grandson, Fergus Mac Roigh, flourished at the beginning of the Christian era. His mother was Deighe, granddaughter of Dubhthach, chief poet of King Laogaire in the time of St. Patrick. The authority for the history of St. Caillin is the ancient ‘Book of Fenagh,’ a series of poetical rhapsodies, written about 1400, a copy of which with a connecting narrative in prose was made in 1516. we may gather the following facts of St. Caillin's history from this curious repertory of ancient traditions: ‘The descendants of Medbh and Fergus, viz. the children of Conmac, Ciar, and Corc, grew and multiplied throughout Ireland. The children of Conmac especially were in Connaught.’ Those were the Conmaicne of Dunmor, kinsmen of Caillin's. Resolved to remedy the congestion of the population by killing each other, the Conmaicne would no doubt have carried out their plan but for the interference of St. Caillin. By the advice of an angel they sent messengers to him at Rome, whither he had gone for his education." 
Early History of the MacKavin family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacKavin research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1027 and 1280 are included under the topic Early MacKavin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacKavin Spelling Variations
Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the MacKavin family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Callan, Callanan, Caillan, Calan, Calanan, Callen, Callin, Callon, Callinan, Callinon and many more.
Early Notables of the MacKavin family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early MacKavin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacKavin family
During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the MacKavin family in North America: Peter Callan who settled in Cape Elizabeth, Maine in 1683; Charles Callan settled in Delaware in 1772; Alexander Callan settled in Wilmington, N.C. in 1774.
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- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print