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Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • Irish (Connacht) : Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Maoil Sheanaigh ‘descendant of Maoilsheanaigh’, a personal name meaning ‘devotee of (Saint) Seanach’, a personal name based on sean ‘ancient’, ‘old’. Because most Connacht spellings omit the Sh (pronounced as h), it has been suggested that the original name might have been Ó Maoileanaigh ‘descendant of Maoileanach’, a personal name meaning ‘chief of the marsh’. There was a different Ulster family of this name, now extinct in Ireland.

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