Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name McSwiny is Mac Suibhne, which is derived from the word "suibhne," which means "pleasant."
Early Origins of the McSwiny family
The surname McSwiny was first found in County Donegal
(Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland
in the province of Ulster
, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel. The name is derived from Suibhne O'Neill, who was a chieftain
in Argyll, Scotland
. His descendants migrated to Ireland
as gallowglasses (mercenaries) prior to 1267. The three great septs of this name finally established themselves in Tirconnell in 14th century; they were known as MacSweeney Fanad, MacSweeney Banagh, and MacSweeney na dTuath, who were commonly referred to as 'MacSweeney of the Battleaxes.' They later became attached to the MacCarthys in the south and acquired their own territories and castles in Muskerry in County Cork.
Early History of the McSwiny family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McSwiny research.Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1299 and 1310 are included under the topic Early McSwiny History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McSwiny Spelling Variations
Before widespread literacy came to Ireland
, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Accordingly, numerous spelling variations
were revealed in the search for the origin of the name McSwiny family name. Variations found include MacSweeney, MacSweeny, MacSwine, MacSwiney, MacSwyne, MacSwyny, MacWhinney, MacWhinny, MacWhinnie, MacSwiny, McSweeney, Swiney, Swinney and many more.
Early Notables of the McSwiny family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family at this time was John MacSween, a 13th-14th century nobleman who lost his lands in Scotland
after the defeat of the forces and death of Alexander Og MacDonald, Lord of Islay
in 1299. In... Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McSwiny Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McSwiny family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of Irish families
left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name McSwiny: Adam Sweeney, who settled in New York, NY in 1805; Alexander Sweeney, who came to Boston in 1768; Biddy Sweeney, who arrived in St. John, N.B. aboard the Brig Ambassador in 1834.