Kavanagh, Caomhánach A Gaelic surname whose bearers derive their descent from Domhnall Caomhánach, the son of Diarmuid Mac Murchadha. It is one of the few Gaelic surname without the ‘ó’. The chief of the sept was known as Mac Murchadha Caomhánach. The personal name Murchadh meant ‘sea-warrior’ and Caomhánach, meant ‘comely, mild’. The leading sept of Leinster. Kavanagh was the fifty-third most numerous name in Ireland in 1890 and the estimated number of bearers was 12,200. In that year the surname was chiefly found in Dublin, Wexford and Wicklow. In the United States Kavanagh is the 7,087th most numerous surname with an estimated 5,500 bearers, and Kavanaugh is the 7,325th most numerous surname with an estimated 5,500 bearers.
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