Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name McKavanagh 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 McKavanagh family
The surname McKavanagh 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 McKavanagh family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKavanagh research.Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1889, 1667 and 1739 are included under the topic Early McKavanagh History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McKavanagh Spelling Variations
A name was often recorded during the Middle Ages under several different spelling variations
during the life of its bearer because literacy was rare there was no real push to clearly define any of the languages found in the British Isles at that time. Variations found of the name McKavanagh 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 McKavanagh 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 McKavanagh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McKavanagh family to the New World and Oceana
became inhospitable for many native Irish families
in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name McKavanagh to North America:
McKavanagh Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Henry McKavanagh, aged 19, who landed in America from Portadown, Ireland, in 1909
- Patrick McKavanagh, aged 29, who landed in America from Ballydonaphy, Ireland, in 1912
- Daniel McKavanagh, aged 21, who emigrated to America from Bullyvana, Ireland, in 1913
- Mark McKavanagh, aged 30, who settled in America from Lurgan, Ireland, in 1915
- Sarah McKavanagh, aged 27, who emigrated to the United States from Lurgan, Ireland, in 1915
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name McKavanagh (post 1700)
- Sean McKavanagh, Norther Irish political candidate in the 1996 Upper Bann election
- Colm McKavanagh, British Headteacher at The Romsey School in Romsey, Hampshire, England