Index of Names in Irish Annals: Descriptive Bynames: Caomhánach

by Mari Elspeth nic Bryan (Kathleen M. O'Brien)

© 2000-2007 by Kathleen M. O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Version 2.1, updated 20 March 2007

Descriptive Bynames: Caomhánach


"[somehow connected, via fostering, etc., with the] Ó Caemhain [family]"

NOTE: This name began as a descriptive byname but became an inherited surname.


What we know as a set of Irish Annals are manuscripts that were each compiled during a particular time period, usually using older material as sources. For example, when the Annals of the Four Masters were written from 1632 to 1636, they covered events that occurred centuries and millenia before (including legendary history). So, when an entry in this set of annals refers to a person who lived in the year 738, the spelling used for that person's name is very likely not using the spelling that would have been used in 738.

Standard forms of this name (based on spelling systems of different periods) would be:

Frequency & Dates:

Number of men found in the annals with this name: 9/TD>
Found in Years: 1369, 1414, 1416, 1417, 1419, 1422, 1431, 1476, 1519

Research Notes:

Woulfe (p. 234 s.n. Caom.ánac.) gives the meaning of this byname as "belonging to Caom.án" and says, "This family derives its name and descent from Domhnall Caomhanach, son of Diarmaid Mac Murchadha who was King of Leinster at the time of the Anglo-Norman invation. He was so called from having been foster by the comharb, or successor of St. Caom.án at Kilcavan, near Gorey; and the agnomen, contrary to the usual Irish practice, has for many centuries been adoped as a surname by his descendants."

The explanation that he "was called Caemhanach, from having been fostered by the family of O'Caemhain" is given in regards to a man's name in 1421 (FM vol. 4, p. 849, footnote "z").


Further information about the byname Caomhánach, may be found in:

The Sources page lists the Annals referenced below. Information about secondary sources is included on that page as well.

Raw Data

In the table below, I have separated individuals with a blank line. That is, when there are multiple entries in the annals that refer to a single person, those entries are grouped together.

Within the list of entries refering to a single person, I have sorted the entries primarily by orthography when it is obvious that what I am seeing is the same entry showing up in multiple annals. The entries that tend to use older spellings are listed first.

NOTE: The Annals referenced below under the code letters A, B, C, E, & F tend to use later spellings than the other Annals. In some cases, the spellings listed in these Annals may not be appropriate for the year referenced in the Annal entry.

In some Gaelic scripts, there is a character that looks approximately like a lowercase f, but without the crossbar. This character (represented by an underscored , e, in the entries below) sometimes represents e and sometimes ea depending upon the context of the text.

[Standardized form of this man's name]
AnnalsEntryContextCitation (formatting preserved)
[Donnchadh Caomhánach Mac Murchaidh] (d. 1369)
Co1369.3Geralt Caemanach adbur ardrig Laigen
[Donnchadh Caomhánach Mac Murchaidh] (d. 1375)
Co1375.8Dondchad Caemanach Mac Murchada rig Laigen
[Art Caomhánach mac Muircheartaigh Caománaigh mhic Mhuiris Chaománaigh] (d. 1414)
Co1414.2Art Caemanach adbur rig Laigen
Co1416.28Art Caemanach ri Laigen mac Airt Chaemanaig meic Murcertaig Caemanaig meic Muris Caemanaig
[Muris Caomhánach] (d. ?)
Co1416.28Art Caemanach ri Laigen mac Airt Chaemanaig meic Murcertaig Caemanaig meic Muris Caemanaig
[Muircheartach Caomhánach mac Muiris Caománaigh] (d. ?)
Co1416.28Art Caemanach ri Laigen mac Airt Chaemanaig meic Murcertaig Caemanaig meic Muris Caemanaig
[Art Caomhánach mac Airt Caomhánaigh mhic Mhuircheartaigh Chaománaigh mhic Mhuiris Chaománaigh] (d. 1416)
Co1416.28Art Caemanach ri Laigen mac Airt Chaemanaig meic Murcertaig Caemanaig meic Muris Caemanaig
Co1417.3Diarmait Lamderg mac Airt Caemanaig .i. mac rig Laigen
[Donnchadh Caomhánach] (d. ?)
Co1419.10Dondchad Caemanach ri Laigen
FMvol. 4, p. 848, 1421mac donnchaid. c.aom.anaig.
[Geralt Caomhánach] (d. 1431)
Co1422.12Geraltt Caemanach
DM1431.7Gearalt Caomhanach rioghdamhna Laighen saoí einigh & engnamha eisidhe
Co1476.4Domnall Riabach mac Gerailt Chaemanaig ri Laigen ["Domnall Riabach son of Geralt Caemanach [Mac Murchada], king of Leinster"]
[Donnchadh Caomhánach] (d. 1519)
Co1519.8Donnchad Cáomhanac

Medieval Scotland | Medieval Names Archive | Index of Names in Irish Annals
Feminine Given Names | Feminine Descriptive Bynames | Masculine Given Names | Masculine Descriptive Bynames