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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1997-05 > 0862642205


From: <>
Subject: Re: GAELIC SURNAMES/SPELLING
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.

Phil

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