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Origin of Surnames Monaghan and Monagas

Surnames Monaghan & Monagas

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Origin of Monaghan & Monagas
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The MONAGAS Family in Venezuela is originally from Ireland.



It was an Irish Official named Mr. John MONAGHAN who in 1643 came to Las Palmas, in Grand Canaries, and settled down there, where he played an important role in the defense of the islands (after the continuous attacks of the Turkish and English pirates who tried to conquer the archipelago), who later gave origin to the MONAGAS Family in Venezuela.



But, now, let us go back to the origin of the Surname MONAGHAN (a Family of Irish origin before the year 1100 A.D.) in Ireland and, then, we will pay special attention to it in Venezuela.



The first records of the Ireland’s National Archives date the name MONAGHAN, more common in the Counties of Galway, Mayo, and Fermanagh, or MONAHAN, which is the anglicized form of O’MONAGHAN or O’MANACHAIN (O’Mana’cáin, literally pronounced: O’Veenacon) in Irish, which was a synonym of MANACHÁN from a diminutive of MANACH, which denotes a “Monk” (in Irish, the name Monaghan means: “little monk”, or “little monk of the woods”), as early as the Ninth Century. The Four Masters record O’MONAGHAN (866 A.D.) as Lord of the Three Tuathas (Kingdoms) of Roscommon in 1287.



The MONAGHAN from whom the Family took its name was a famous Connacht Warrior or Chieftain of the Ninth Century, in the County of Roscommon close to the River Shannon, where they were the Rulers up to the end of the XIII Century. In 1798 A.D., Mr. Dick MONK fought with the rebels at the Battle of Arklow, he was also known as Richard MONAGHAN.



In fact, there is a County (and a Town, too) by the name of Monaghan, which is located in middle–north-eastern Ireland.



Mr. James Henry MONAGHAN (1804–1878), born in the County of Galway, was notable as Prosecutor in his capacity of Attorney General, and later as Lord Chief Justice of Ireland. Mr. Philip MONAHAN (1894–1983) fought in the War of Independence and later became an influential Civil Servant. He was appointed City Manager of Cork for life at the age of 35. Mr. Rinty MONAGHAN (1920–1984), the Belfast Boxer, became World Flyweight Champion in 1947 and retired undefeated in 1949, and also Charles Monaghan fought for freedom and independence of the Republic of Ireland.



Hence, these are some variants of the Surname: MONAGHAN, MONAHAN, MONAHON, MONIHAN, MONOHAN, MONGAN, MONGAIN, and MONAGAS.



The MONAGHAN Clan motto in Latin is: “Felis Demulcta Mitis”, whose usual English translation is: “Gentle in Peace, Fearless in War”.



The MONAGHAN Family Coat of Arms is made up of a gold chevron and three gold (five-pointed) stars on a background of blue with a helmet and an armored soldier above. The knight is in complete armour resting his sinister hand on the hip and holding in his dexter a tilting spear.



Gold means “generosity”; Blue (Azure) means “strength & loyalty”; the Chevron represents the roof of a house – signifies “protection & faithful service”; the three Stars (Mullets) mean “divine quality bestowed by God – sign of the third son”; and the Helmet represents “wise defense”.



On the other hand, the MONAGAS Family Coat of Arms is made up of a silver and black checker with a helmet above.



Silver (Argent) means “sincerity & peace”; Black (Sable) means “constancy & grief”; and the Helmet represents “wise defense”.



Now, let us continue with the Descendants of Mr. John MONAGHAN.



As we already stated before, this Irish Official established his residence in Valle Seco (Dry Valley) in Grand Canary, giving origin to the Surname MONAGAS.



In the beginning of the Eighteenth Century, Master (Mr.) Juan Antonio MONAGAS DE LEON and Second Lieutenant (Mr.) Bartolome MONAGAS DE LEON came to Caracas, Venezuela, South America, and went right to live in the house of their cousin Mr. Juan Francisco DE LEON, who was famous because he was the Leader of the Civil Revolution, started on April 19, 1749, against the Guipuzcoana Company, which was the Spanish Tax Collector in the Colony of Venezuela.



Juan Antonio became the Ruler and Mayor of Cojedes, and Bartolome became Land-Lord in Petare. This latter married his cousin Miss Maria Ignacia FERNANDEZ DE LEON, on August 13, 1746. He was the father of Mr. Francisco Jose MONAGAS FERNANDEZ, who came to Aragua de Barcelona, Anzoategui State, married Miss Maria Perfecta BURGOS DE VILLASANA, and gave origin to General Jose Tadeo (or Judas Tadeo) MONAGAS BURGOS (born in Maturin, Monagas State, on October 28, 1785) and General Jose Gregorio MONAGAS BURGOS (born in Aragua de Barcelona, Anzoategui State, on May 4, 1795).



General Jose Tadeo MONAGAS and his brother General Jose Gregorio MONAGAS joined the Struggle for Independence on March 18, 1813. The former was 29 years old and the latter was 18. Jose Tadeo was a Second Lieutenant of Cavalry and Jose Gregorio was a Cavalry Official too. In fact, Jose Gregorio was named "the First Lancer of the East" (title confirmed by the Liberator Simon Bolivar, after the Battle of “El Juncal”, on September 27, 1816).



The MONAGAS Family had to face very painful moments when the Spanish Commander Boves and his First Official Morales and his troops attacked and conquered Maturin City. The father of Jose Tadeo and Jose Gregorio died on December 11, 1814: the Spaniards cut the throat of their father and one of their brothers-in-law, slashed with a cane knife their older sister, and slaughtered two of their younger sisters. It was a massacre.



The two MONAGAS brothers continued fighting for independence in the East of Venezuela (current Anzoategui, Monagas, Sucre, Nueva Esparta, Amacuro, and Bolivar States), even though everything seemed lost: Simon Bolivar (the one who later would be named the Liberator of Five (5) Nations: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia) and the rest of the Leaders had to leave the country for their lives (1815–1816).



Jose Tadeo and Jose Gregorio did what they knew best:  to wage war. They formed a "guerrilla band" (just as Commander Jacinto Monagas did: a South American soldier, born in Venezuela in 1785; died in Boyaca, New Grenada, on August 8, 1819. When Francisco de Miranda and Simon Bolivar raised the flag for independence, he was one of the first to join their cause. After their capitulation in July 1812, he assisted in organizing in the provinces of northern New Grenada Corps of "mounted guerillas", which were known as the "Tartars of America". The rapidity and force of their movements dismayed the Spanish royal army, of which they captured entire detachments. In 1815 Jacinto Monagas surrounded Angostura and drove the royalists from Guiana and Cumana, but was afterward defeated by Cevallos, governor of Coro, Venezuela. He escaped by leaving his horse and jumping from the rocks. After receiving re-enforcements he participated in the bloody campaigns of 1817-1818, contributing to the defeat of the Spaniards, but was mortally wounded in the battle of Boyaca, which secured liberty to Colombia.)



Half of Jose Tadeo’s troops consisted of natives with nothing but G-strings, bows and arrows. What is more, they say that Jose Gregorio was raised by a native medical doctor / magician / chief (or “Piache”, in Spanish) for about 3 or 4 years, and for that reason, both Jose Tadeo and Jose Gregorio were loved by the natives.



The MONAGAS brothers always kept loyal to Simon Bolivar and, for that reason, Jose Tadeo successfully confronted General Jose Antonio PAEZ (the one who conspired against the Liberator Simon Bolivar in order to separate Venezuela and Colombia (these two countries together formed “Grand Colombia”, which was Simon Bolivar’s dream country), and who later became President) and his powerful supporters/Party. As a result, they have criticized and pointed to Jose Tadeo and Jose Gregorio since then.



These two Descendants became, firstly, Officers of the Venezuelan Army in the War of Independence of Spain, and, secondly, Presidents of the New Republic of Venezuela. In fact, Jose Tadeo was elected president in three (3) different periods, and Jose Gregorio is honored as the president who abolished “Slaves” in Venezuela during his government (in fact, Jose Gregorio was called the “Lincoln of South America”).



Mr. Jose Ruperto MONAGAS ORIACH (two (2) times in charge of presidency) followed the steps of his father: Gen. Jose Tadeo MONAGAS BURGOS.



This is a brief view of the origin of the MONAGAS Family in Venezuela and Back in Ireland.



As a matter of fact, there is a State in Venezuela named “Monagas” after these two (2) Independence Heroes, which is in the middle–north–east of the country, just as in Ireland.



About the Author of this work:



Finally, Mr. Jose Gregorio MONAGAS, who was born in Puerto La Cruz, Anzoategui State in Venezuela, on November 28, 1966 (a Son of Ms. Eulalia MONAGAS MAITA, who is a Daughter of Mr. Luis Ramon MONAGAS RAMOS, whose father was Mr. Jose Eustaquio MONAGAS from San Joaquin, Anzoategui State, Venezuela); who is a Linguist from Universidad De Oriente, graduated on February 12, 1992 (Father of Mr. Jose Augusto Miguel MONAGAS ACEVEDO, born in Maturin on March 17, 1999, and Miss Joymil MONAGAS ACEVEDO, born in Maturin on January 26, 1996) is a Descendant of Gen. Jose Tadeo and Jose Gregorio MONAGAS BURGOS, and a member of the Fifth Generation of the MONAGAS Family after the Venezuelan Independence.

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