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Surname MacAveigh - Meaning and Origin

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MacAveigh: What does the surname MacAveigh mean?

The last name MacAveigh originated from the Irish Gaelic name MacIZE which means "son of Mac". It is a patronymic name, meaning that it identifies an individual's father or ancestor. It is most commonly found in the Ulster region of Ireland, particularly in the counties of County Donegal and County Fermanagh.

The meaning behind MacAveigh is not completely clear but one interpretation is that it is derived from Ó hIfeich (meaning "descendant of Ifech"), a surname which is composed of two elements. The prefix Ó which indicates male ancestors and the suffix Ifech, which is a variant of the Irish úa meaning "grandson, male descendant".

The MacAveigh family was originally associated with the Irish Gaelic church and nobility. They were largely landowners, gentry and Grenada soldiers, and many of them held titles as lords, or nobles of rank.

Today, the MacAveigh name is associated with a variety of different pursuits, ranging from professions in the arts, academia, and politics to authors, athletes, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. They can be found in a variety of countries around the world including the United States, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, and Australia. The MacAveigh name continues to be popular in modern times, and it is a proud symbol of Irish heritage.

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MacAveigh: Where does the name MacAveigh come from?

The last name MacAveigh is most commonly found in America, with an estimated 8,726 people bearing the name in the United States as of the 2010 census. The majority of MacAveighs live in the New England area; Massachusetts has the most, with 1,531 people, while New Hampshire has 1,033, Maine has 636, Connecticut has 637, Vermont has 263, and Rhode Island has 256 people by that name. Pennsylvania and New York follow with 424 and 386 people respectively.

The MacAveighs in the United States can trace their roots back to Ireland, where the surname is most prominent and where its earliest roots are believed to be. The origins of the name are Irish, and its likely source is "Mac Aoidh," derived from the personal name Aodh, which is thought to mean "fire."

In Scotland as well as Ireland, the surname is found in areas with strong Irish-Scottish connections, such as the Highlands and Western Isles. In fact, the Scottish version of the name is MacAvee, which is found in much smaller numbers than its Irish counterpart.

The last name remains relatively rare across the world, with fewer than 14,000 people listed as having it in England and fewer than 6,000 in Australia and Canada combined. However, throughout all corners of the globe, it carries with it a proud legacy of an ancient Irish lineage and a reminder of the family's roots.

Variations of the surname MacAveigh

The variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin for the surname MacAveigh are MacAvie, MacAvoy, MacAvee, McAvee, MacAvey, and MacVey.

MacAveigh originates as an Anglicization of the Irish Gaelic Mac Aoidh, which translates to “son of Aodh” or “son of fire”. The Irish Aodh was derived from several Gaelic personal names, such as Aed, Aedu, Aedh, and Aodh. The Anglicized spelling of Mac Aoidh eventually evolved into MacAveigh.

In Scotland, spellings such as “MacAvey” and “MacVey” grew in popularity. In Ulster and Counties Londonderry and Derry, the surnames MacAvie, MacAvoy, and McAvee also emerged.

Regarding variants and spellings of the surname, it is important to bear in mind that any time a name was passed on through an oral tradition, as was the case with many Irish surnames, many variants emerged due to phonetic spelling and regional dialects. This is why various spellings and surnames emerged from a single, original source.

MacAveigh remains one of the least common Irish surnames; however, its variants and spellings, which originated in different parts of the British Isles, still exist today and are primarily found in Scotland, England, and Ireland.

Famous people with the name MacAveigh

  • Lisa MacAVEIGH: a Scottish Labour politician and a former Member of the Scottish Parliament.
  • Clarence MacAVEIGH: a 20th century American lawyer, judge, and a former U.S. Congressman from Nebraska.
  • Margaret MacAVEIGH: a Northern Ireland lawyer and a former First Minister for the Northern Ireland Assembly.
  • Gordon MacAVEIGH: a Scottish filmmaker and an award-winning documentary director.
  • Susan MacAVEIGH: an American architect, artist, and founder of A Studio of Her Own, an organization for women in architecture.
  • Josh MacAVEIGH: an American basketball player who plays for the Chicago Bulls.
  • Amy MacAVEIGH: an American restaurateur, television personality, and former reality show contestant.
  • John T. MacAVEIGH: an American politician and a former member of the United States House of Representatives.
  • Alexander MacAVEIGH: a British special forces soldier and a decorated veteran of the Afghanistan conflict.
  • Paul MacAVEIGH: a Scottish comedian and Retired Professional Wrestler.

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