Show ContentsMahoeny History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

The surname Mahoeny 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 Mahoeny family

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

Mahoeny Spelling Variations

One explanation for the many variations is that scribes and church officials frequently spelled the name as it sounded: an imprecise method at best. Understandably then, various spellings of the surname Mahoeny were found in the many archives researched. These included Mahoney, O'Mahoney, O'Mahony, Mahony and others.

Early Notables of the Mahoeny family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Mahoeny family

Many Irish families boarded ships bound for North America in the middle of 19th century to escape the conditions of poverty and racial discrimination at that time. Although these immigrants often arrived in a destitute state, they went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. An inquiry into many immigration and passenger lists has revealed many early immigrants to North America bearing the Mahoeny family name: Cornelius, Daniel, Denis, James, Jeremiah, John, Mary, Michael, Patrick, Peggy, Thomas, Timothy and William Mahoney, who all arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860.



  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


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