Mahonney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

The surname Mahonney 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 Mahonney family

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

Mahonney 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 Mahonney revealed many variations, including Mahoney, O'Mahoney, O'Mahony, Mahony and others.

Early Notables of the Mahonney family (pre 1700)

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


United States Mahonney migration to the United States +

A great wave of Irish migration occurred during the 19th century as a direct result of English colonial rule and tight-fisted absentee landlords. Many of these Irish immigrants boarded passenger ships bound for North America. Those who migrated early enough were given land in either British North America or the United States; those who came in the late 19th century were typically employed in industrial centers as laborers. At whatever age they undertook the dangerous passage to North America, those Irish immigrants were essential to the speedy development of the two infant nations to which they arrived, whether they broke and settled land, helped build canals, bridges, and railroads, or produced products for consumer consumption. An examination of immigration and passenger lists has uncovered a large number of immigrants bearing the name Mahonney or one of its variants:

Mahonney Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Dennis Mahonney, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [3]


  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)


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