Megainey is a variant spelling form of the Olde Gaelic and Ulster surname "Mac Canny". This is the English spelling form of the original Mac Cannaidh, the meaning of which is obscure but may translate as "The Wolf Cub" or similar. Originally the Clan was found in County Clare on the West Coast of Ireland, and in the 16th century they were prominent in the Limerick region in the Barony of Bunratty near the modern airport of Shannon. Today the name is mostly found in the county's Londonderry, Antrim and Tyrone, however such are the variant spelling forms that any instantly recognisable association to the original form is all but lost. These recordings include the following examples all from the mid Victorian registers the earlier ones having been lost in the Public Records fire of 1922 (Dublin). Catherine Mc Geeney, christened at Barrowstown, Louth on June 6th 1865, Mary Mc Guiney born at Manor Hamilton, Leitrim on August 31st 1865, and Agnes Megany christened on March 10th 1842, at Aghalee, Co. Antrim. Amongst the Irish famine immigrants of 1847, was John Mc Cahhy who sailed for New York in May of that year aboard the Diana of Liverpool, he was aged 23, and a farmer. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Mac Canny, which was dated 1598, Lord of the castle of Drumbanny, Co. Clare, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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