The origination of this Old Irish name is "O'Muimhneachain", which means literally "the son of the descendant of the Munsterman", not surprisingly, the name is most common in West Cork and Kerry. The modern spellings are Minihane, Minihan and Moynihan, the spelling in the 16th Century being Minighane; and in the Census of 1659, the name was regarded as the principal one of West Cork. The local recordings include Denis Minihane, son of Denis Minihane and (the former) Hannah Crowley, baptised at Schull, Co.Cork, on December 4th 1866, and the marriage of Catherine Minihane to Timothy Cadogan, at St. Mona's Chapel, Sherkin Island, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, on February 8th 1868. Several of the name were famine immigrants into New York, including Marge Minihane, who embarked from Liverpool on the ship "Hampden" bound for that port on December 8th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of O'Muimhneachain, which was dated 1659, in the Barony of Tulla, during the reign of Richard Cromwell, known as "The Lord Protector", 1658 - 1660. 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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