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Mcaveeney Coat of Arms / Mcaveeney Family Crest

Variants of this County Cavan name McAVEENEY seldom found elsewhere are MacEVINNEY, MacAVINUE, MacGIVENA, MAGIVNEY and MacGIVNEY. In the Annals of Loch Ce the name appears as Mac DHUIBHNE, in the person of Mathew MacGIVNEY, who was the Bishop of Kilmore from 1286 until 1307. He is reputed to have died in 1314. Two other men of the cloth are recorded as MAGUIBHNE, John, who was the arch-deacon of Drumlahan in 1343, and Farsithe (died in 1464) who was the Bishop of Kilmore. Ireland is one of the earliest sources of the development of patronymic names in northern Europe. Irish Clan or bynames can be traced back to the 4th century B.C. and Mac (son of) and O (grandson or ancestor of) evolved from this base, the original literal meaning of which has been lost due to the absence of written records and linguistic ambivalences which subtly but inexorably became adopted through usage. Genealogists and lexographers accept that the patronymic base does not refer to a location, quite the contrary. The use of the prefix 'Bally' (town of) attaching to the base name, identifying the location. The base root was also adopted by people residing in the demographic area without a common ancestor. These groups called 'Septs' were specially prevalent in Ireland. The first Normans arrived in Ireland in the 12th and 13th centuries to form an alliance with the King of Leinster. Under Elizabeth I in the 16th century, settlers from England established themselves around Dublin, then under English control and Presbyterian Scots emigrated to Ulster, introducing English and Scottish roots. As Mac AVYNNY the name is given in the census of 1659 as a principal Irish name in County Fermanagh. A notable member of the sept was Michael Joseph MacGIVNEY (1852-1890) of Connecticut, son of an Irish exile, who founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882. Many Highland families migrated from Scotland to Ireland during the 17th and 18th centuries, and were granted the lands of the native Catholic Irish. People heard of the attractions of the New World, and many left Ireland to seek a better life sailing aboard the fleet of ships known as the 'White Sails', but much illness took its toll with the overcrowding of the ships which were pestilence ridden. From the port of entry many settlers made their way west, joining the wagons to the prairies, and many loyalists went to Canada about the year 1790, and became known as the United Empire Loyalists.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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