Recorded in various forms including MacCadam, MacCadden, MacCudden, and in the short forms commencing "Mc", this rare surname is regarded as being Irish, although possibly the origination is Anglo-Norman. Derived from the medieval Gaelic Mac Cadain, it is thought that the origination may lie in the biblical name Adam, carried by some of the invaders of Ireland in 1170. If this is the case then at a later date the "invaders" joined the native islanders, and gaelicized their name, before in about the 16th century adopting the "modern" spellings. However few things follow ordained paths with surnames, and even less so where the name is caught up in the ever changing patterns of Irish history. What is known about this clan is that by the 14th century they held a hereditary position of some status as erenaghs in County Armagh. That is to say that they were responsible for the maintenance and management of church lands in their locality, and this position was held for some two centuries. Like many families in Ulster they seem to have suffered the loss of their estates whilst caught in the trap of supporting the wrong monarchy in 1690. During the infamous Potato Famine of 1846, Mary McCudden sailed on the ship "Brothers" from Neary to New York on April 23rd of that year whilst Neil McCadden left on April 5th 1847 on the ship" New York", also bound for New York. In the First World War (1914 - 1919) Captain James McCudden RFC, was the fourth leading British air "Ace", with fifty eight known success as a fighter pilot.
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