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Surname MacCahen - Meaning and Origin

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MacCahen: What does the surname MacCahen mean?

The surname MacCahen is an anglicized form of the Gaelic Irish surname Mac Catháin. It is an ancient surname of both Irish and Scottish origins. Traditionally found in County Antrim in Northern Ireland, historically, the name is associated with the ancient Dal Cuinn tribes of Ulster, the most powerful of the provinces in Ireland. The name translates from Gaelic as “son of the battle chief” and traditionally the name was patronymic, i.e. an hereditary name passed down through the male line.

MacCatháin families from Ireland later moved to Scotland and some even made their way to the United States. There the surname evolved and became anglicized as Mac Cahen or MacCahen.

In Scotland, the name is a variant form of the Wade MacCallan or MacAllan surname found commonly in sections of the Highlands. Clan MacCallan is recognized as an armigerous clan, meaning they have their own tartan, badge, and chief.

The MacCahen surname today is widely used across the US, Ireland, Scotland and Britain. People holding the MacCahen surname can have an interesting past and be proud of their heritage.

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MacCahen: Where does the name MacCahen come from?

The last name MacCahen is not widely recognized and specific information about it is not readily available. It potentially could be a variant of the name McCann, McKeon, or Coen (which are popular in Ireland), but there is no definitive proof or record to assert this link. However, its prefix "Mac" indicates Gaelic or Celtic origins, suggesting a connection to Scotland or Ireland. Usually, "Mac" or "Mc" means "son of", however, without specific historical records or genealogical links, the exact origin remains uncertain. It's not a common surname today in any particular region based on accessible databases. It would be advisable for a person interested in this surname to consider genealogical research or a professional genealogist consultation for the accurate origins and prevalence of the MacCahen surname.

Variations of the surname MacCahen

The surname MacCahen is of Irish origin and the spelling variations could include McCahon, McCahan, McCann, McCane and MacCann. It is thought to have originated from the Gaelic name "Mac Cana," which means "son of Cana." The variations are a result of the translation from Gaelic to English, specifically the issue of achieving phonetic spelling due to differences in pronunciation.

These alternate spellings may have been adopted by different branches of the same family or by different families who had taken the name because they lived in or near the territory of the Mac Cana chieftains in Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland. Surname variations can also be the result of emigration, when immigration officers recorded the name phonetically, resulting in a multitude of ways to spell the same surname.

Beyond spellings that begin with "Mac" or "Mc," other variants can include those without this prefix, such as "Cahen," "Cahon," "Cahan," "Cane," or "Cann." All these variants potentially hold their roots in the original Gaelic "Mac Cana". Hence, MacCahen and its variants are surnames that have been transcribed in a number of ways throughout history.

Famous people with the name MacCahen

  • Neil MacCachren: A professional race car driver
  • William L. MacCachren: American politician
  • Megan MacCachaen: Actress and singer
  • Pat MacCachaen: American lawyer and politician
  • Mark MacCachaen: Former NFL player
  • Angela MacCachaen: Music video director and producer
  • H. MacCachaen: Surgeon
  • Bruce MacCachaen: Broadcast journalist
  • Julian M. MacCachaen: Poet
  • Devin MacCachaen: Actor

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