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Irish Surnames Mac

A list of Irish surnames beginning with Mac (or Mc), from McCann to McSweeney.

Name Variants In Irish Location Origin
MacAuley McCauley, McAwley, Cawley, Magawley. Mac Amhalghaidh Cork, Fermanagh, Westmeath. Gaelic
Mac Amhalghaidh means “son of Auley”, once important Gaelic Lords.
MacAuliffe MacAmhlaoibh Cork Norse
From the Norse name “Olaf”.
MacBride McBride MacGiolla Brighde Donegal, Gaelic
Means “son of the servant of St. Brigid”.
MacCabe McCabe Mac Cába. Cavan, Leitrim Scots-Gaelic
“Caba” means “hat or cap”. The family originally came from Scotland to serve as Gallowglasses (a type of mercenary soldier) to Irish lords. Their name may come from their wearing of distinctive hats.
MacCann Canny, McCann MacAnnadh Armagh, Ulster Gaelic
Related to the O’Neills of Ulster
MacCarthy McCarthy MacCarthaigh Widespread Gaelic
Descendents of Carthac, a 12th century chieftain.
MacCormack McCormick MacCormaic Widespread Gaelic
Means “son of Cormac”, not descended from a single Cormac – it was a common name.
MacCullagh Cully, MacNully Mac Con Uladh Antrim, Down, Ulster Scots-Gaelic
Means “Son of the hound” Known in Scotland as MacCulloch.
MacDermot MacDermott, Kermode. MacDiarmada Roscommon, Sligo Gaelic
Means “Son of Dermot”. Dermot was a 12th century King of Moylurgh, a place now known as Coolavin, in Sligo.
MacElroy McElroy MacGiolla Rua Fermanagh, Leitrim Gaelic
Means “son of the red haired man”.
MacEvoy McAvoy, McEvoy MacGuiollabhuidhe Mac A Buidhe Laois, Louth Gaelic
May mean “woodsman”; or, “yellow (blonde?) son”.
MacGee Magee, MacKee, McKee Mac Aodha Antrim, Armagh, Down. Gaelic
Means “son of Aodh (Hugh)”.
MacGill Magill Mac An Ghaill Ulster
MacGinn Maginn, McGinn, MacGinne Mac Fhinn Armagh, Down, Tyrone Gaelic
Means “Finn’s son”.
Means “son of the foreigner”. A foreigner could also simply mean a stranger.
MacGovern MacGowran, McGovern, McGowran Mac Samhrain Cavan, Fermanagh, Leitrim Gaelic
Means “son of Samhradh (summer)”.
McGowan Gowan, Smith MacGhabhann Cavan, Leitrim, Monaghan, Ulster Gaelic
Means “son of the smith”. The same origin as the English name Smith, to which is was sometime anglicised.
MacGrath Magraw, MacGraw, Magrath, McGrath, McGraw. MacRaith Clare, Donegal, Fermanagh, Limerick. Widespread. Gaelic
Means “son of Raith”; raith also means “wealth”, so it may mean “son of the wealthy man”.
MacHugh MacCoy, McKee, Hughes, MacKay, McHugh, Hewson MacAoda Donegal, Fermanagh, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo Gaelic
Means “son of Hugh”, so is a related name to McGee, above.
MacInerney Macnairney, Mcnerney, McInerney Mac An Airchinnigh West of Ireland Gaelic
MacKenna MacCionaoda Cavan, Monaghan, Ulster. Gaelic
Means “son of Cionaoid”.
MacKeown McKown, McKeon, MacKowen. MacEoghain Gaelic
“Eo” means “Yew Tree”, but may not be relevant. Eoghan is one of several Irish versions of John, so it may just mean “Eoghan’s son”.
MacLoughlin O’Loghlen, MacLaughlin, McLaughlin MacLochlainn Clare, Derry, Donegal, Meath. Gaelic
MacMahon Mahon, McMahon, Mohan, Vaughn MacMathuna, Mac Mathghamhna Gaelic
Means “son of a bear”, presumably a large or strong man.
MacManus MacMaghnuis Fermanagh, Roscommon Norse
Derived from the Norse or Viking name Magnus.
MacNally McNally, Macannally, Nally Mac an Fhailghigh Armagh, Mayo, Monaghan. Gaelic
Means “son of the poor man”.
MacNamara McNamara MacNamara Clare, Limerick Gaelic
Means “son of the sea hound”.
MacNulty McNulty, Nulty Mac An Ultaigh Mayo, Ulster Gaelic
Means “son of Ulster”.
MacQuaid McQuaid, McQuaide, MacWade, McWade Mac Uaid Ulster Gaelic
Means “son of Uaid (Walter)”.
MacQuillan McQuillan MacCoilin or MacUighlilin Ulster Gaelic
Means “son of little Hugh” and refers to Hugeli de Mandeville a Norman-Welsh lord who arrived in Ireland in the 12th century.
MacSweeney McSweeney, MacSwiney, Sweeney, Sweeny Cork, Donegal. Gaelic
Means “son of the pleasant man”. The Donegal branch are of Scots Gaelic origin.

What Others Say

  1. Brenda Feb 25, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    I am from Canada, I found out I am related to the late Lord and Lady McCann, parents off Rachelle McCann ( Born Feb 14), I was wondering the history of the family, if there is still any descendent living, Etc, thank you, Brenda

    • Katherine Feb 25, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      I have never heard of a Lord and Lady McCann. I just did a search of Burke’s Peerage and it came up blank. I am not really sure they ever existed to be honest. People who are Lords are generally quite well documented and that’s really not so in this case. There was a Lord Mayor of Dublin called McCann, but he lived his whole life in Ireland and died in the 1980s, so it’s probably not any good to you.

      McCann is quite a frequently found name in Ireland.

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