Surname Meehan - Meaning and Origin
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Meehan: What does the surname Meehan mean?
The last name Meehan is an Irish surname, derived from the Gaelic Ó Miadhachain, meaning “descendant of the gracious one.” This form of the name has been recorded as many as nine separate distinct surnames in Ireland.
The Ó Miadhachain family originally descended from Connacht, in the province of Galway, where they were an influential sept. The family was based in the parish of Kilcoona, located in the east of the county. During the 17th century, many members of the family dispersed throughout the country in search of work, eventually settling in other provinces such as Clare and Limerick.
The word “miadhachain”, from which the surname is derived, refers to one of four qualities which were highly regarded in medieval Irish society. The other three qualities are “rúadhchaidhe” (red-headedness), “goillach” (hostility), and “furchone” (frugality).
“Miadhachain” was associated with graciousness, chivalry, and benevolence. As a result, many who bore the surname of Meehan were seen as wealthy, powerful, and noble.
Today, the Meehan surname can be found throughout the British Isles and the United States, as many of the original immigrants and their descendants eventually emigrated to the new world. In recent years, the popularity of the surname Meehan has increased, becoming one of the most common surnames in Ireland today.
Meehan: Where does the name Meehan come from?
The last name Meehan is most commonly found in Ireland, particularly in the province of Leinster. It is one of the most common surnames in the country with an estimated 8,000 people bearing the surname. It is also found in areas of Scotland, England, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The origin of the name Meehan is said to be from the Gaelic Mac Meeghan, with Meehan coming from the Gaelic word Mac Aodhagain which means 'son of Egan'.
In the United States, the last name Meehan is most commonly found in states with large Irish-American populations such as Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The majority of Meehans in the US are of Irish ancestry, although there are some of Scottish ancestry as well. In 2018, the US Census reported 8,123 Meehans living in the US.
In Australia, the surname is most commonly found in the states of Victoria and New South Wales. There were 1,940 Meehans living in Australia in 2016, with the majority living in Victoria, followed by New South Wales.
In Canada, the surname is found in all provinces, but is most common in Ontario and Quebec. The 2016 Canadian Census reported 6,402 Meehans living in the country.
The last name Meehan has spread around the world from its origins in Ireland and Scotland. Today, it is found in countries like Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as in other parts of the world.
Variations of the surname Meehan
The surname Meehan is an anglicized version of the Gaelic surname ‘O’ Míthighain’ or ‘Mac Míthighain’, meaning ‘son of the descendant of a being of the same name’. It is most commonly found in Ireland, although there are many other variants in other countries, including the United States, England, Scotland and Wales.
Variants of the surname Meehan include Meighan, Meaghan, Meeghan, Mehegan, Mehigan, Meegen, Meggen, Meegen, Meggin and Meegam. Spellings of the surname Meehan can also vary, including Meehan, Mihan, Meehyne, Meehin, Mihan, Meighan and Meehin.
The surname Meehan is also seen in various other forms, including MacMeehan, McMehan and MacMehan. In Scotland, the surname is often rendered as MacMeehin or MacMehin, while in Wales it is sometimes spelt Myhan, Meehun or Meuhan.
In addition, some versions of the surname Meehan include hyphenation, such as O’Meighan, O’Meeghan or O’Mihan. This hyphenation is often indicative of a family root dating back to the ancient Irish kingdom.
In the United States, the surname Meehan can be found in various forms, including Behun, McGuiness, McMehon, Mehen and McMahan. These names are primarily descendants of immigrants who anglicized their original Gaelic surname.
Overall, while the surname Meehan usually originates from the same Gaelic source, there are numerous different forms of the name that are used in different countries and cultures.
Famous people with the name Meehan
- Ryan Meehan: Stand-up comedian who has worked as a writer for the talk show Chelsea Lately.
- Enda Meehan: Irish sports columnist and broadcaster based in Dublin.
- Nell Meehan: Irish hurdler who competed at the 2010 European Athletics Championships.
- Sean Meehan: American cartoonist and graphic designer, best known for his comics works and his album cover designs.
- Matthew Meehan: Former American professional ice hockey goaltender who played in a total of 16 NHL games for the Calgary Flames.
- Erin Meehan: English fashion designer and blogger, known for her sustainable fashion initiatives and collaborations.
- Joe Meehan: Major League Baseball second baseman who played for the Philadelphia Athletics, New York Highlanders, Washington Senators, and Chicago White Sox.
- Alan Meehan: Irish artist and filmmaker based in Dublin.
- Trish Meehan: Member of the Australian country music group, The McClymonts.
- Steve Meehan: Head coach of the Belgium national rugby union team.
- Paul Meehan: American actor and comedian whose credits include Clerks: The Animated Series and the film Super.
- Frank Meehan: British software entrepreneur, most well known as the CEO of INQ Mobile.
- Mark Meehan: Physician and former Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from Montgomery County.
- Josie Meehan: Professional American football player who was a running back and cornerback in the National Football League.
- Amanda Meehan: Canadian flutist, educator, and conductor who is the Principal Flute for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
- Commando Pat Meehan: Irish literary character who appears in his eponymous children's books.