In its ancient Gaelic form, the Irish name McMawen was written Mac Mathghamhna, which later became Mac Mathuna. Both names are derived from the word "mathghamhan," which means "bear."
Early Origins of the McMawen family
The surname McMawen was first found in County Clare
(Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland
in the province of Munster
, where the MacMahons were lords of Corca Baisgin; and possessed the greater part of the baronies of Moyarta and Clonderlaw.
Early History of the McMawen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McMawen research.Another 110 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1119, 1715, 1780, 1519, 1606, 1644, 1600, 1650, 1643, 1650, 1660, 1737, 1707, 1715, 1715, 1737, 1680, 1747, 1727, 1737, 1737 and 1747 are included under the topic Early McMawen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McMawen 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 McMawen family name revealed numerous spelling variations
, including MacMahon, MacMann, MacMahan, MacMohan and others.
Early Notables of the McMawen family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family name at this time was Séamus mac Pilib Mac Mathghamhna (died 1519), was Bishop of Derry. Hugh Oge MacMahon (1606-1644), was an Irish conspirator, was probably of Sir Brian MacHugh Oge MacMahon, Lord of the Dartree in the county of Monaghan
. Herber MacMahon (1600-1650), Bishop of Clogher... Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McMawen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McMawen family to the New World and Oceana
Under the rule of England
, land ownership in Ireland
changed dramatically, and many native Irish families
found themselves renting out land to farm from absentee owners. This was one of the prime reasons that immigration to North America began in the late 18th century: Irish farmers dreamed of owning their own parcel of land to work for themselves. At this point, the immigrants were at least of modest means for the passage across the Atlantic was often quite dear. In the 1840s the Great Potato Famine
created an exodus of people of quite different means. These people were most often destitute: they either sold anything they had to gain a passage or they were sponsored by philanthropic societies. Many of these immigrants were sick from disease and starvation: as a result many did not survive the long transatlantic journey. Although those settlers that did survive were often despised and discriminated against by people already established in these nations, they were critical to rapid development of the powerful industrial nations of the United States and the country that would later become known as Canada. An examination of immigration and passenger lists shows many persons bearing the name of McMawen or one of its variants: Bernard, Francis, James, John, Michael, Patrick MacMahan, who all arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860; Mary McMahan settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849.
The McMawen Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Sic nos sic sacra tuemur
Motto Translation: Thus we guard our sacred rights.
McMawen Family Crest Products