What is the origin of the last name Mcmahon?

The surname McMahon has its origin in Ireland and is an Anglicized version of the Irish Gaelic name Mac Mathghamhna. The name is derived from the personal name Mathghamhain, meaning "bear" or "bear-like." The Mac Mathghamhna clan was historically associated with County Clare and County Monaghan in Ireland. Over time, the name was anglicized as McMahon and spread across various English-speaking countries through Irish emigration.

Countries of origin for the last name Mcmahon

The last name Mcmahon has its origins in Ireland and is of Gaelic origin. It is derived from the Mac Mathghamhna clan, which was prominent in County Clare and County Monaghan. The prefix “Mac” means “son of” in Gaelic, and “Mathghamhna” is believed to be a personal name that translates to “bear.” The prominence of this clan suggests that it was influential and held a position of power within the community.

Mcmahon is an anglicized version of the original Gaelic name, reflecting the historical anglicization of Irish names during British rule. Anglicization was a common practice when English officials had difficulty pronouncing or spelling indigenous Irish names. As a result, many Irish names underwent alterations, making it easier for English speakers to comprehend and interact with them.

The Mcmahon surname can be traced back to at least the 11th century in Ireland. The clan played a significant role in Irish history and had close ties with other prominent clans such as the O’Brien and O’Neill families. The surname has been associated with leadership, military prowess, and political influence throughout its history.

Migration played a crucial role in spreading the Mcmahon name beyond Ireland. During the Irish diaspora, which occurred mainly in the 18th and 19th centuries, many Irish people emigrated to various parts of the world, including the United States. It is likely that some Mcmahon families settled in the United States during this period, contributing to the presence of the surname in the country.

The Mcmahon surname continues to be relatively common in both Ireland and the United States. It can be found across the United States, with notable concentrations in states such as New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. The surname has also extended beyond these areas due to the movement of individuals and families over time.

The meaning of the Mcmahon name, “son of the bear,” is intriguing. It carries an air of strength, power, and perhaps even fierceness. This may have contributed to the pride and loyalty of the Mcmahon clan members throughout history. The surname’s history and associations with leadership and influence lend it a sense of depth and significance.

While the known facts about the Mcmahon surname provide a comprehensive understanding of its origins and significance, there may be undiscovered stories and connections yet to be uncovered. Further research and exploration could potentially reveal additional details about the surname and its bearers, offering even more insight into the Mcmahon legacy.

Interesting facts about the last name Mcmahon

  • The surname McMahon is of Irish origin.
  • It is derived from the Irish Gaelic clan name “Mac Mathghamhna,” which means “son of the bear.”
  • The McMahon clan played a significant role in Irish history and were prominent in County Clare and County Monaghan.
  • The name gained further prominence during the medieval period when Brian Boru, a member of the McMahon clan, became the High King of Ireland.
  • McMahon is a relatively common surname in Ireland, especially in the counties of Clare, Monaghan, and Limerick.
  • Many McMahon families emigrated from Ireland during the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly to the United States, Canada, and Australia.
  • The surname has variants such as MacMahon, McMahone, and Mac Mahon.
  • Famous individuals with the surname McMahon include Vince McMahon, the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and Jim McMahon, a former NFL quarterback.
  • In addition to its Irish origins, the surname McMahon can also be found among Scottish and Manx communities.
  • The McMahon coat of arms features a gold shield with a black lions’ head and a red hand in the center, symbolizing strength and loyalty.

Name Rank


There are around 39411 people with the last name Mcmahon in the US

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