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Surname MacCahin - Meaning and Origin

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MacCahin: What does the surname MacCahin mean?

The last name of MacCahin (alternatively spelt MacCaughan, MacCaughin, MacCaughon, etc.) is of Gaelic origins, derived from the personal name Cathan. The name was created using the Gaelic prefix Mac, which means 'son of', followed by the personal name Cathan, which is derived from the Latin Catonius, meaning 'pure'. Therefore, the name MacCahin means 'son of Cathan, the one who is pure'.

MacCahin is an Irish surname and was originally found in the north-eastern province of Ulster (present day Northern Ireland) though it can be found in other places as well. It is thought that the family moved away from Ulster during the 17th century persecuted ‘plantation period’, when large numbers of Native Irish people were moved out due to the favouritism shown to Scottish and English settlers.

The MacCahin family is renowned for its members' loyalty and may have originally had ties to the MacCarthy clan, who were a great Gaelic royal family from Munster in south-western Ireland. According to old Gaelic records, the MacCahin family were once 'wood-carvers and stone-cutters specialized in making wooden and stone sculptures'. The MacCahin family crest prominently displays two crossed hammers below a crown, possibly as a reminder of the family’s past profession.

MacCahin still remains a prominent last name in Ireland, as well as the United States and Australia, where many members of the family settled after emigrating. To this day, the name is a lasting reminder of the origins of the MacCahin family.

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MacCahin: Where does the name MacCahin come from?

The last name MacCahin seems to be quite rare and there is very limited information available about it; it's not widely recognized by several surname databases. It appears to have Celtic/Gaelic roots, similar to many surnames beginning with "Mac", suggesting a possible origin from Scotland or Ireland. The "Mac" prefix typically means "son of" in Gaelic. However, without more historical documents or resources, it remains very difficult to substantiate the precise origin and meaning of MacCahin.

Presently, it's not noticeably common in any specific geographical area. Like many uncommon surnames, people with the MacCahin last name could likely be found scattered throughout different parts of the world, particularly in countries where there was significant historic Irish or Scottish migration, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. However, in the absence of larger clusters of individuals with the surname, it would be challenging to attest to its prevalence in any specific locations.

Variations of the surname MacCahin

The surname MacCahin seems to originate from Scottish Gaelic or Irish heritage and can be depicted in a variety of ways based on phonetic spellings, region, and time period. Over time, phonetic spelling changes occurred due to illiteracy or transcription error. Different spellings of the surname MacCahin include McCahon, McCahan, MacCahan, McCahan, McCahen, and McCahin.

A common alternative with a slightly different spelling would be McCahon. The Gaelic versions of the name could be Mac Cathain or Mac Eacháin which may have been Anglicized to McKeon or McKeown in different regions. The prefix Mac or Mc generally means "son of" in Gaelic origin names.

Sometimes names derived from professions, physical characteristics, or locations. Further, variations of the surname could potentially include McCann, McCane, McCain or McKane which are all derived from the same Gaelic origins. Given the complexities of language evolution, regional dialects and family preferences, there could be many more variants and spellings for the surname MacCahin.

Remember that due to mobility, migration and local language influences, names changed over time. Therefore, genealogy research should consider all possible spelling variations.

Famous people with the name MacCahin

  • Kevin MacCahin: American film producer, known for producing films such as Sicario, Blade Runner 2049, and Zero Dark Thirty.
  • Joseph Paul MacCahin: Canadian professional ice hockey forward who played in the National Hockey League.
  • Dean MacCahin: Scottish international footballer who played for Leeds United, Manchester United, Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion, and many more.
  • Bart MacCahin: American political actress and singer who has appeared in film, television, stage, and radio.
  • Sean MacCahin: English former professional footballer who played as a central defender for Chelsea and Southampton in the Premier League.
  • John MacCahin: Irish lyricist and film director, perhaps best known for his work on the musical-drama film Once.
  • Alexa MacCahin: Canadian model and actress, best known for her roles in Crown & Grind, TV series Birds of Prey, and Fox television series Gotham.
  • William MacCahin: Welsh actor who has starred in numerous films across multiple genres.
  • Jack MacCahin: Canadian professional American football offensive tackle who played six seasons in the NFL for the San Diego Chargers.
  • Tara MacCahin: Australian basketball player and coach with the Melbourne Boomers.

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