Where did the Irish Mahoney family come from? What is the Irish coat of arms/family crest? When did the Mahoney family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the history of the family name?
The many Irish surnames in use today have long rich histories behind them. The name Mahoney originally appeared in Gaelic as O Mathghamhana, which is derived from the word mathghamhan, which means bear. The modern spelling is O Mahuna.
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 Mahoney family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Mahoney, O'Mahoney, O'Mahony, Mahony and others.
First found in county Cork where they held a family seat from ancient times.
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 Mahoney or one of its variants: Cornelius, Daniel, Denis, James, Jeremiah, John, Mary, Michael, Patrick, Peggy, Thomas, Timothy and William Mahoney, who all arrived in Philadelphia Pa. between 1840 and 1860.
For more information on the last name Mahoney, the PDF Surname History is available for purchase as well as other products.
Some noteworthy people of the name Mahoney
* David Mahoney, American Marketing Executive
* Sister Hildegarde Mahoney, American Educator
* Sally Mahoney, original name of American Sally Field
* Suzanne Mahoney (b. 1946), original name of American Suzanne Somers
* Colonel John Mahoney, Canadian Militia
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