1. What Nationality is Kavanagh?
Kavanagh is a VERY Irish name.
Kavanagh's originated from the County Carlow.
2. Where does KAVANAGH originate from?
The Kavanagh's originate from the
MacMurrough Family. The Kavanagh clan started in the 12th Century by
Donal Caomhanach (later Kavanagh), illegitimate son of Dermot
MacMurrough, King of Leinster. The Gaelic name Caomhanach (or modern
Kavanagh) means follower of St. Caomhan. Caomh translates into gentle or
3. How do you spell KAVANAGH?
This is a heated debate particularly in
the US. Kavanagh can be spelled in the following ways: Kavanagh,
Cavanaugh, Cavanagh, Kavanaugh, Cavenaugh, among many other variations.
According to 1890 birth records in Ireland the predominate spelling in
Ireland out of 274 Kavanagh births, 230 were spelt: K A V A N A G H. The
common misconception is that Kavanagh must start with a C and come from
the county Cavan. The Kavanagh's do not originate from there. Since
Kavanagh is a relatively "new" name, the lack of a Gaelic "K" is not
4. What are Kavanagh's famous for?
The Kavanagh and MacMurrough families
were the Kings of Leinster owning much land. Even today, many former
castles bear the Kavanagh and MacMurrough name. The clans had worked
closely with the king of England, even receiving dues form the English
crown for helping the English in Ireland. Art MacMurrough Kavanagh of
the 15th Century precipitated this. Power of the families was broken in
the 17th century when England took over Irish rule.
5. Modern Kavanagh's:
Kavanagh's can be found throughout the
world. In Ireland they are predominately in Dublin, County Wexford &
Wicklow. With the famines of the 1800's many Kavanagh's immigrated to
the United States.
6. Famous Kavanagh's:
There are a lot of famous Kavanagh's,
here are a few:
- Arthur MacMurrough Kavanagh: King
of Leinster, 15th Century
- Charles Kavanagh: Governor of
Habesburg Prague, mid 18th Century
- Brian Kavanagh: Last duly
inaugurated Chief of the name
- Arthur MacMurrough Kavanagh:
1831-1899 Born without limbs he was a father of 7, a member of
Parliament, and Artist, poet, & sailor. He was dubbed MacMurrough
Kavanagh. The Borris House is the Family residence.
- Patrick Kavanagh (1904-1967) Modern
- Morgan Peter Kavanagh (1800-1874)
- Julia Kavanagh (1824-1877) daughter
of Morgan, also an author.
7. Coat of Arms:
The Coat of Arms displayed on this page
is the CoA of the Kavanagh Clan. Heraldically it is: Silver, a red lion
passant, and in base two red crescents
The crest is: Out of
Silver crescent a gold wheatsheaf
Family Motto: Siothchain
Agus Farisinge Translated it means: Peace And Plenty (thanks to all
who replied with the translation!)
8. Any more Questions or answers?
One good website would be
If you have any questions or would like to add to or correct this FAQ,
please fill out my
Feedback Form or e-mail me at: