Throughout history, very few Irish surnames have exclusively maintained their original forms. Before being translated into English, O'Hennahen appeared as O Dubhain, where the first portion of the word is dubh, which means black, and the second portion is probably derived from some obsolete Irish personal name.
Early Origins of the O'Hennahen family
The surname O'Hennahen was first found in County Sligo
(Irish: Sligeach), in the province of Connacht
in Northwestern Ireland
, from very ancient times.
Early History of the O'Hennahen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Hennahen research.Another 379 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1612, 1679, 1675, 1549, 1628, 1735, 1727, 1735, 1724, 1727, 1720, 1724, 1717 and 1720 are included under the topic Early O'Hennahen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Hennahen Spelling Variations
The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations
for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name O'Hennahen were encountered in the archives: Downs, Down, Downe, Downes and others.
Early Notables of the O'Hennahen family (pre 1700)
Notable among the family name at this time was William Ducie (c.
1612-1679), created 1st Viscount Downe in 1675; Andrew Downes, also known as Dounaeus, (c.1549-1628), English classical scholar, one of the seven translators of the... Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Hennahen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Hennahen family to the New World and Oceana
In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia
. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the O'Hennahen family came to North America quite early: Jane Downe who settled in Jamaica in 1685; John Downe settled in Barbados in 1685; another John Downe settled in Virginia in 1670; Robert Downe settled in St. Christopher in 1635.