Moynihan Family History
The ancient origin of the name Moynihan
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
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 Moynihan
include Minihan, Minihane, Moynan and Minnagh. This name in Irish is O'Muimhneachain and the latter variants are the anglicized forms of this. This sept came from Cork and Kerry.
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 Minihans and Moynihans have always had the same homeland as far as records go back, in Counties Cork and Kerry where the name was also found in the Kenmare manuscripts as one of the most numerous names in that part of the country. They where a sept of the Hy Fiachrach, one of whom is mentioned in the Four Masters in the year 1220. In the sixteenth century Fiants the name is rendered as O'Moynaghan and Myneghhane and was listed as a principal Irish name in the barony of Tulla, County Clare.The Moynihan
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 Moynihan