Coat of Arms of MacMahon of Clare/Thomond

McMahon or MacMahon (older Irish orthography: Mac Mathghamhna reformed Irish orthography: Mac Mathúna) is an Irish surname. The surname arose separately in two areas: in west County Clare and in County Monaghan. The County Monaghan (Airgíalla) MacMahons are not related to the County Clare (Thomond) MacMahons.


The Thomond MacMahons were part of the great tribal grouping, the Dál gCais, and claimed descent from Mahon O'Brien, grandson of Brian Ború. The last chief of the name was killed at the battle of Kinsale in 1602, and the chiefly line became extinct.

After the defeats of the native Irish in 17th century, many of the Clare MacMahons emigrated to serve in the Irish Brigade of the French Army. John Baptiste MacMahon, descended from the MacMahon female line, took on the surname of MacMahon and was the son of one of the original members of the Irish Brigade. He was made Marquis d’Eguilly by Louis XV. He had wanted to marry into a noble family but had to prove he was a noble. The name was changed through the female line because France recognised the line through a female, unlike Ireland to this day.

His grandson, Patrice de MacMahon (1808–1893), was created Duke of Magenta, became a field marshal and later the French president. The MacMahon family are still prominent in France; the family home is the Château de Sully outside Bordeaux.[1]


Map of Gaelic Ireland circa 900 A.D.

The Oriel (Anglicisation of Airgíalla) MacMahons were based in the barony of Truagh in the north of County Monaghan and ruled the kingdom of Oriel between the thirteenth and the sixteenth centuries. Their last chief, Hugh Oge MacMahon, who had become a lieutenant-colonel in the Spanish army, was beheaded by the English in 1641. A separate McMahon family in County Fermanagh is descended from Mahon Maguire, a grandson of Donn Carrach Maguire. Today, although widespread throughout Ireland, MacMahon remains most common in the two ancestral homelands of Counties Clare and Monaghan.[2]

John O'Hart notes that the MacMahons (sometimes there O'Mahons) were earlier chiefs of the over-kingdom of Ulaid, which then bordered Airgíalla.[3]


The motto of the Thomond sept of McMahons is "Sic Nos Sic Sacra Tuemur", which means "Thus We Defend Our Sacred Rights".


"McMahon" is the family name of the following people:







The McMahon wrestling family of WWE fame:

  • Roderick "Jess" McMahon (1882–1954), boxing and wrestling promoter; father of Vincent James McMahon, grandfather of current chairman Vincent Kennedy McMahon, founder of Capitol Wrestling Corporation
  • Vince McMahon, Sr. (1914–1984), wrestling promoter and founder of WWE's immediate predecessor company, the World Wide Wrestling Federation
  • Vince McMahon, Jr. (born 1945), chairman of the board, CEO and majority shareholder of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (dba WWE, Inc.)
  • Linda McMahon (born 1948), wife of Vince Jr. and former CEO of WWE
  • Shane McMahon (born 1970), son of Vince Jr. and former Executive President of WWE Global Media
  • Stephanie McMahon Levesque (born 1976), daughter of Vince Jr. and Chief Brand Officer of WWE

Ships of the surname

MV Empire MacMahon was an oil tanker converted by the British for WWII service as a merchant aircraft carrier or MAC ship, that is an escort carrier for anti-submarine warfare, an anti-submarine warfare carrier.

See also


  3. John O'Hart, Irish Pedigrees; or, The Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation, 5th edition, in two volumes, originally published in Dublin in 1892, reprinted, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976, Vol. 1, p 819
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/2/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.