What is the origin of the last name Mccabe?

The last name McCabe has its origin in Ireland and is an anglicized version of the Gaelic name "Mac Cába," which means "son of Cába." The name Cába itself is derived from the Old Norse personal name "Kápa," which means "merchant" or "buyer." The surname McCabe is predominantly found in counties Cavan and Monaghan in Ireland, where the clan has a long history.

Countries of origin for the last name Mccabe

McCabe is a last name of Irish origin that can be traced back to medieval times. The name is derived from the Gaelic “Mac Cába,” meaning “son of Cába.” The surname has evolved over the years with different variations and spellings, including McCab, MacCab, and McCayby. It has also been anglicized to McCabe, which is the most common form used today.

Many individuals bearing the name McCabe can be found in Ireland and the United States. The surname is particularly prevalent in counties Cavan, Monaghan, and Meath in Ireland. It is estimated that there are around 15,000 individuals in the United States with the last name McCabe, making it a relatively common surname.

The origins of the name suggest a connection to an ancestral figure known as Cába, whose identity and significance are not well-documented. The anglicized form McCabe was likely adopted as the Gaelic naming system shifted to English during the period of English colonization in Ireland. This surname would have been passed down from father to son, highlighting the importance of lineage and family ties in Irish culture.

Historical records show the presence of individuals named McCabe in Ireland as early as the 14th century. One notable figure with the surname is Patrick McCabe, a celebrated Irish novelist. His works often explore the complexities of Irish history and culture, reflecting the enduring influence of the McCabe name in the literary world.

The McCabes, like many other Irish families, faced significant challenges during the Great Famine in the mid-19th century. This period of widespread hunger and disease led to a large-scale emigration of Irish people, including many McCabes, to the United States. The surname took root in the American melting pot, contributing to the rich tapestry of Irish heritage in the country.

Studying the etymology of the name McCabe reveals a multitude of possible interpretations and connections, but lacks concrete evidence to definitively establish its origin. While the meaning behind the name remains somewhat elusive, it serves as a testament to the endurance and resilience of the Irish people throughout history.

Interesting facts about the last name Mccabe

  • The surname McCabe is of Irish origin and is derived from the Gaelic Mac Cába, meaning “son of the cape/cloak”.
  • McCabe is a relatively common surname in Ireland, particularly in the counties of Monaghan, Cavan, and Louth.
  • The name Cába is believed to refer to a type of hooded cloak or cape traditionally worn in ancient Ireland, possibly indicating that some of the early McCabes might have been cloakmakers or those who wore such garments.
  • Several variations of the McCabe surname exist, including MacCabe, Macabe, McCabbe, and McKee.
  • The spelling of the surname has evolved over time due to anglicization, migration, and variations in pronunciation.
  • McCabe is a sept of the larger Irish clan known as the Uí Mhic Aodha (Owens) or Ui Mac Carthaigh (McCarthy).
  • The McCabes have a rich history in Ireland, and some notable figures with the surname include writers, politicians, and musicians.
  • The name McCabe is also found among Irish diaspora communities, particularly in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
  • In terms of etymology, the prefix “Mac” signifies “son of” in Gaelic, making McCabe a patronymic surname.
  • The coat of arms associated with the McCabe surname often features symbols representing strength, loyalty, and warrior heritage.

Name Rank


There are around 30401 people with the last name Mccabe in the US

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