This is an anglicized form of the Olde Gaelic name O Muimhneachain. The Gaelic prefix "O'indicates "male descendant of" plus the byname Muimmneachain, a diminutive of Muimhneach meaning Munsterman. In the modern idiom the name has several anglicized forms including Moynihan, Minihane, Minnagh, Mimnagh, Munster etc.. It is first recorded in the early 13th Century as O Mionachainm, (see below). The name is now chiefly found in West Cork and Kerry. The 17th Century Fiants records of Co. Cork have several references to O' Moynaghan, Myneghane etc., all earlier forms of the name. On August 12th 1845, Thomas Moynahm and Sarah Acres were married in Drumcannon, Co. Waterford. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of O' Mionachain. which was dated 1220, The Annals of the Four Masters. during the reign of King Henry III of England, 1216 - 1272. 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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