Show ContentsMahaney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The many Irish surnames in use today have long rich histories behind them. The name Mahaney originally appeared in Gaelic as O Mathghamhna, which is derived from the word mathghamhan, which means bear. The modern Gaelic spelling is O Mahúna.

"Hugh Gharbh (or Hugh the Terrible), a younger brother of Laeghaire who is No. 93 on the 'O'Donaghue' (of Lough Lein) pedigree, was the ancestor of O'Mathamhna; anglicized O'Mahony and Mahony." [1]

Early Origins of the Mahaney family

The surname Mahaney was first found in County Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

"The O'Mahonys were anciently located in Cork and Kerry, where they were powerful Chiefs and sometimes styled Princes. They had several castles along the sea-coast. In County Cork an O'Mahony was Lord of Ivaugh, in the Barony of West Carbery, and an O'Mahony was Chief in Kinalea Barony. In County Kerry there was a Chief of the name in the Barony of Iveragh, and there were O'Mahonys in the Barony of Clanmaurice. The majority of persons of the name of Mahony or O'Mahony are still found in these two counties." [2]

The Book of Munster clearly states: "The O'Mahony family were 'undisputed kings of Raithlean, and had a right to be kings of Cashel whenever that kingdom happened to be vacant; and from whom the Kings of Cashel had no right to demand anything except a bowing of the head.' " [1]

Early History of the Mahaney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mahaney research. Another 179 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1014, 1639, 1679 and 1987 are included under the topic Early Mahaney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mahaney Spelling Variations

Irish names recorded during the Middle Ages are characterized by many spelling variations. This preponderance of variations for common names can be explained by the fact that the scribes and church officials that kept records during that period individually decided how to capture one's name. These recorders primarily based their decisions on how the name was pronounced or what it meant. Research into the name Mahaney revealed many variations, including Mahoney, O'Mahoney, O'Mahony, Mahony and others.

Early Notables of the Mahaney family (pre 1700)

Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mahaney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mahaney Ranking

In the United States, the name Mahaney is the 11,346th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

United States Mahaney migration to the United States +

Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name Mahaney:

Mahaney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Mahaney, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1849 [4]
  • Lizzie Mahaney, aged 20, who landed in America, in 1895
  • Ellen Mahaney, aged 36, who landed in America from Ballineen, in 1899
Mahaney Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Nellie Mahaney, aged 24, who settled in America, in 1900
  • John Mahaney, aged 32, who immigrated to the United States from Athea, Co. Limerick, Ireland, in 1906
  • Anna Mahaney, aged 40, who immigrated to America, in 1909
  • Tomas Mahaney, aged 6, who immigrated to the United States, in 1909
  • Timothy Mahaney, aged 32, who landed in America, in 1920

Canada Mahaney migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Mahaney Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Daniel Mahaney U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 397 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 20, 1783 at East River, New York, USA [5]

Australia Mahaney migration to Australia +

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

Mahaney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Arthur Mahaney, British convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Mahaney (post 1700) +

  • Stephen Mahaney, American mathematician who discovered Mahaney's theorem, a theorem in computational complexity theory
  • Jack Mahaney (b. 1844), American criminal, thief, confidence man and gang leader in New York City during the late-19th century; he successfully escaping from virtually every major prison in the eastern United States including The Tombs and Sing Sing
  • Hilary F. Mahaney Sr. (1902-1969), American football player and coach, known for his work with the Boston University Terriers in 1930 and 1931
  • Charles Joseph Mahaney (b. 1953), American former leader of Sovereign Grace Ministries
  • Kevin P. Mahaney (b. 1962), American silver medalist sailor at the 1992 Olympic Games
  • Larry Mahaney, American businessman and philanthropist, eponym of the Larry Mahaney Diamond, a baseball stadium in Orono, Maine

  1. O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. Matheson, Robert E., Special Report on Surnames in Ireland with Notes as to Numeric Strength, Derivation, Ethnology, and Distribution. Dublin: Alexander Thom & Co., 1894. Print
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from on Facebook