The Irish surname Meehan is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Miadhacháin meaning “descendant of Miadhachán,” a diminutive of Miadhach, a byname meaning “honorable.” The main Meehan sept was a branch of the illustrious MacCarthys of Munster, but by the end of the 11th Century, they had migrated to County Leitrim, at Ballaghmeehin in the parish of Rossinber. From there they spread into the adjacent counties of Sligo, Fermanagh and Clare. Early nameholders were Thomas and Denis O'Meehan, successively the bishops of Achonry, County Sligo, between the years 1251 and 1285, and from early times the sept were erenaghs of Devenish, County Fermanagh. The name is first recorded in the New World in 1811 when Owen Meehan arrived in New York. Today there are approximately 14,000 bearers of the surname Meehan in the US.
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