Mahany History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The many Irish surnames in use today have long rich histories behind them. The name Mahany 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 Mahany family

The surname Mahany 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 Mahany family

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

Mahany Spelling Variations

The scribes who created documents long before either the Gaelic or English language resembled their standardized versions of today recorded words as they sounded. Consequently, in the Middle Ages the names of many people were recorded under different spellings each time they were written down. Research on the Mahany family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Mahoney, O'Mahoney, O'Mahony, Mahony and others.

Early Notables of the Mahany family (pre 1700)

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


United States Mahany migration to the United States +

Irish immigrants began to leave the English-controlled Ireland in sizable numbers during the late 18th century. Many of these Irish immigrated to British North America or the United States in the hopes of gaining their own tract of farmland. This pattern of migration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine caused a great exodus of immigrants to North America. These immigrants differed from their predecessors in that they were desperately fleeing the disease and starvation that plagued their homeland, and many were entirely destitute when they arrived in North America. Although these penniless immigrants were not warmly welcomed when they arrived, they were critical to the rapid development of the United States and what would become known as Canada. Many went to populate the western frontiers and others provided the cheap labor the new manufacturing sector and the building of bridges, roads, railways, and canals required. A thorough examination of immigration and passenger lists has revealed some of the earliest people to arrive in North America with name Mahany or one of its variants:

Mahany Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Daniel Mahany, who landed in Virginia in 1700 [3]
Mahany Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Mahany, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [3]
  • Mary Mahany, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [3]
  • Mary J Mahany, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Mahany (post 1700) +

  • Rowland Blennerhassett Mahany (1864-1937), American politician, U.S. Representative from New York (1895-1899)


  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. ^ 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)


Houseofnames.com on Facebook