O'Cavana History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name O'Cavana 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 O'Cavana family
The surname O'Cavana 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. 
Important Dates for the O'Cavana family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Cavana research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1889, 1667 and 1739 are included under the topic Early O'Cavana History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Cavana Spelling Variations
Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the O'Cavana family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including 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 O'Cavana 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 O'Cavana Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Cavana family
During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the O'Cavana family in North America: Charles, Dudley, James, John, Joseph, Michael, Nicholas, Peter, Robert, Thomas and William Cavanagh, who all arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1813 and 1880.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.