Scotch-Irish-L Archives

Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1997-05 > 0862642205

From: <>
Date: Sat, 3 May 1997 02:50:05 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 97-05-02 02:42:26 EDT, you write:

>I am seeking clarification of why my McMahon ancestors wrote their name as
>McMachen/McMechen/etc. Is this the Gaelic spelling for McMahon? Is this
>spelling typical for the "Scotch-Irish"? (I know nothing of the Gaelic
>alphabet and Gaelic pronunciation of words.) I know that there were other
>McMahons in the same time period who clearly spelled their name as
>McMahon/McMahan (would they have been regular or "pure" Irish?). (In
>another line I have
>a Henry Machen: is Machen = Mahon?)

McMahon in Irish is:

Mac Mhathghamnha and is usually pronounced

Mac MA hun (the a pronounced like a in hat)

and means "son of the bear".

But in the Ulster dialect the "a" is almost pronounced the "e" in let, met,
etc., particularly the more eastwards and northwards you go.



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