Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name McCavanaugh is Caomhanach, an adjective denoting association with St. Caomhan. The first Kavanagh, Donal, the son of Dermot MacMurrough, was fostered by a successor of this saint.
Early Origins of the McCavanaugh family
The surname McCavanaugh was first found in County Carlow
(Irish: Cheatharlach) a small landlocked area located in the province of Leinster
in the South East of Ireland
, where they held a family seat
from very ancient times. The Kavanaghs (Cavanaghs) were descended from the MacMorough stem and were Lords of Leinster
. Donoch McMorough was the King of Leinster
, son of Dermod and it was from Donoch from which the Cavanaghs sprang. They were descended directly from the Heremon
Line of Irish Kings. Donell, son of Dermot MacMurrough acquired the name Caomhanach, or Cavanagh. His sister Eva married Strongbow
, Earl of Pembroke, the leader of the English invasion of Ireland
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Early History of the McCavanaugh family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCavanaugh research.Another 193 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1889, 1667 and 1739 are included under the topic Early McCavanaugh History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McCavanaugh Spelling Variations
Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations
of the surname McCavanaugh are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Cavanagh, Kavanagh, Kavanah, Cavanaugh, Keevan, Cavanaw, Kavanaw, Cavenaugh, Cavanough, Cavaneagh, Cavana, Cavena, Cavinaugh, Kavina, Kavena, Kavanaugh, Cavanach, Kavanach, Cabenagh, O'Cavanagh, O'Kavanagh, Keaveney, Geaveney, M'Cavanna and many more.
Early Notables of the McCavanaugh family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family at this time was Christian Davies (1667-1739), born Christian Cavanagh in Dublin
, also known as Kit Cavanagh and Mother Ross was a... Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McCavanaugh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McCavanaugh family to the New World and Oceana
A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia
in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine
during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name McCavanaugh or a variant listed above: Charles, Dudley, James, John, Joseph, Michael, Nicholas, Peter, Robert, Thomas and William Cavanagh, who all arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1813 and 1880.