Meehan Family History
The ancient origin of the name Meehan
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Meehan
include O'Meehan, Mehan, Meighan and Meegan. This name in Irish is O'Miadhagain and the latter variants are the anglicized forms of this. This Irish sept belonged to County Leitrim and are akin to the MacCarthys of Munster.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. It is also the case that many Irish septs or clans that are related often belong to a larger groups, sometimes called tribes. For example the 'Tribes of Galway' consisted of fourteen distinct families. The 'Tribes of Kilkenny' were ten families, etc.
The placename of Ballaghmeehin in the Parish of Rossinver, bears their name. From Leitrim they spread to the adjacent Counties and are now fairly numerous in East Connacht and in County Clare, where in 1317, they were one of the Thomond Septs who rallied to the O'Briens. A metal case containing a manuscript of Saint Molaise of Devenish was for over a thousand years preserved by successive generations of O'Meehans, and is now in the National Museum of Ireland.The Meehan
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Meehan