AuthorRev Patrick Woulfe
SourceIrish Names and Surnames

Mac CATHMHAOIL—IVM'Caughwell, M'Cawill, M'Kavill, MacCavill, MacCawell, MacCowell, MacCowhill, MacCawl, MacCaul, MacCall, MacHall, MacCaulfield, Keawell, (Howell, Caulfield, Campbell, Callwell), &c.; 'son of Cathmhaol' (battle-chief); the name of a family who, says O'Donovan, 'are famous in Irish history for their learning and the many dignitaries they supplied to the church.' They derive their descent from Eoghan, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, and were for many centuries powerful chiefs in Tyrone. Their patrimony was Kinel Farry, now the barony of Clogher in Co. Tyrone, and other districts in the same county and in Fermanagh. There was another family of the same name in Co. Down. In the 16th century, the name had spread into Connacht, Westmeath and Carlow. A branch of the family of Tyrone who settled in Co. Wicklow changed the name to Caulfield. This fine old name is now often sadly disguised.

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