Mac Carrghamhna

Rev Patrick Woulfe

Mac CARRGHAMHNA—IVM'Carrhon, MacCarroon, MacCaron, Carrowny, Carony, M'Crony, MacGroaney, Growney, O'Growney, (M'Gaffney, Gaffney, Caulfield); also written Mag Carrghamha, and now corruptly Ó Gramhna; 'son of Carrghamhain' (i.e., spear-calf, an old Irish personal name); the name of an ancient family in Co. Westmeath, of the southern Ui Neill race, who derive their descent from Maine, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages. They were at first surnamed Mac Giolla Ultain, from Giolla Ultain, one of their ancestors, but afterwards adopted the present surname from Carrghamhain, the grandson of Giolla Ultain. Their clan-name was Muinntear Mhaoilsionna, taken from another of their ancestors called Maolsionna, i.e., 'chief of the Shannon,' from the position of his territory near the River Shannon. Maolsionna was the great-grandfather of Giolla Ultain. The clan-lands of Muinntear Mhaoilsionna embraced the district of Cuircne, now the barony of Kilkenny West, which some time after the Anglo-Norman invasion passed into the possession of the Dillons; but that they maintained some shadow of independence as a clan until late in the 16th century is clear from the Fiants of Elizabeth which record that, in the year 1578, 'Hobbert M'Caron, of Killenefaghna, Co. Westmeath, gentleman, was granted the office of chief serjeant of his nation in Co. Westmeath, and certain lands in Kilkeren, Knockan, and the Parke, same co., called the ploughland of Kilmacaron, which of old belonged to the chief of the nation of M'Caron.' This ancient surname has now almost entirely disappeared, being generally disguised under the anglicised forms of Caulfield and Gaffney and widely dispersed through Ireland.

Alphabetical Index to Irish Surnames