This very unusual and interesting surname is of Irish origin, and is derived from the Gaelic "O Connachtain", of uncertain etymology. Traditionally, Irish family names are taken from the heads of tribes, or from some illustrious warrior, and are usually prefixed by "O", meaning "grandson or descendant of", or "Mac", denoting "son of ". This was the name of an important sept originally located in the north of County Sligo, where they were of importance, as we know from the Annals and other sources for medieval times. Later they migrated to County Roscommon, and their proximity there to the homeland of the O'Naughtens of Ui Maine results in the chance of the two names becoming confused. The two names also became confused by the abbreviation of Conaughton to Naughton. At the inauguration of the kings of Connacht on the Hill of Carnfraoigh, near Tulsk, it was the hereditary duty of the Connaughtons to guard the entrance to the carn. People of the name are still found mainly in Counties Roscommon and Sligo. The christening was recorded in County Roscommon of Jacobus, son of Petri Connaughton and Honoriae Gara, on September 25th 1863, at Breedogue and Ballinanmeen. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mary Connaughton, which was dated December 10th 1859, christened at Keenagh, Co. Longford, during the reign of Queen Victoria of England, known as "The Great White Queen", 1837 - 1901. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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