Connaught. The prefix O, meaning '"grandson of" indicates descent from the original bearer.
Early Origins of the O'Connaty family
Donegal with the MacSweenys. That 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.'
Early History of the O'Connaty family
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O'Connaty Spelling Variations
spelling variations. These variants can be somewhat accounted for when it is realized that before widespread literacy people only recognized their name by pronunciation; it was up to scribes to decide how it was to be formally recorded. Variations found include Conaty, O'Conaty, Connaghty, Connoty, MacConaghy, MacConkey and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Connaty family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the O'Connaty family to the New World and Oceana
Ireland saw an enormous decrease in its population in the 19th century due to immigration and death. This pattern of immigration began slowly in the late 18th century and gradually grew throughout the early portion of the 19th century. However, a dramatic increase in the country's immigration numbers occurred when the Great Potato Famine struck in the 1840s. The early immigrants to North America were primarily destined to be farmers tending to their own plot of land, those that came later initially settled within pre-established urban centers. These urban immigrants provided the cheap labor that the fast developing United States and soon to be Canada required. Regardless of their new lifestyle in North America, the Irish immigrants to the United States and Canada made invaluable contributions to their newly adopted societies. An investigation of immigrant and passenger lists revealed many O'Connatys: John McConaghty, age 26, who arrived in Quebec in 1834; Alexander McConaghy, who settled in Allegheny County, Pa. in 1844; Jas MacConnaghy, who arrived in New York City in 1811.
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