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.
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.
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.
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
there is a County (and a Town, too) by the name of Monaghan, which is located in
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
are some variants of the Surname: MONAGHAN, MONAHAN, MONAHON, MONIHAN, MONOHAN,
MONGAN, MONGAIN, and MONAGAS.
Clan motto in Latin is: “Felis Demulcta Mitis”, whose usual English translation
is: “Gentle in Peace, Fearless in War”.
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.
“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.
(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.
already stated before, this Irish Official established his residence in Valle
Seco (Dry Valley) in Grand Canary, giving origin to the Surname MONAGAS.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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).
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
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.
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”).
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
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
Author of this work:
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.