Madden Connections

A Genealogical Site Devoted to
John & Bridget Madden from Clontuskert,
Galway & Their Descendants

Surname Variations of Madden and Our Origins

Welcome to Ray's Web Site. Let me introduce you to the family name of Madden by sharing with you what I know about my grandmother's family, siblings and ancestors. Variations in spelling this name include:

Madden | Maden | Maddin | Madin | Madine | Madan | Maddan |
Madon | Maddon | Maidan Maiden | MacAvaddy | Madagane |
Maldigan | Madudhan | Meadon | O'Madagane | O'Maddane |
O'Madden | O'Madigane | Wadden (sic)

Where did they come from?

Where did they settle?

Our John Madden who arrived on these shores in 1820 was a convict who had no say in where he would settle on arrival in the colony of New South Wales. He began his sentence by working as a brogue (shoe) maker at Sydney's Hyde Park barracks (see photo) before joining a road construction gang. After securing a release from penal servitude he was joined by his wife and two sons who arrived from Ireland several years after his own landing. 

The reunited family began life afresh in Campbelltown where John and Bridget were ultimately buried in the church grounds of St John the Evangelist.Their descendants who now number in their thousands have left their mark in various parts of the country and below is a list of known places where they have been recorded as living.

New South Wales Australia

  • Appin Auburn Baradine Barmedmman Berrima Campbelltown Cobar Cootamundra Eremeran Forbes Goulburn Grafton Grenfell Harden Hornsby Kew Louth Menangle Mittagong Monteagle Murrumburrah Newcastle Orange Parkes Parramatta Port Kembla Portland Sydney Temora Tocumwal Wagga Wagga Wambunumba Wollongong Woy Woy Young
Queensland Australia

  • Adavale Brisbane Bundaberg Charleville Cunnamulla Eromanga Redcliffe Toowoomba
Western Australia

  • Karratha Perth

Visit Some Grave Sites

The above is a snapshot of "our" Maddens but more information follows, courtesy of some Irish authors: The sept (a Celtic clan), whose name was in its early form, O Madadháin, later O Madáin, was a branch of the Ui Maine*. Brian Breffny, in his Irish Family Names, Arms, Origins and Locations states that the sept held a territory on both sides of the River Shannon—the western part being in Longford Barony in County Galway, the eastern part in the Barony of Garrycastle, County Offaly.

* Uí Maine, or Hy Many, was centered in eastern Co. Galway and southern Roscommon. About the 5th century, a northern tribe said to be descended from Colla dá Críoch moved into East Galway and they occupied an area around Ballinasloe. One of their chieftains was called Máine Mór, from whom are descended the tribes of Uí Máine, aka Hy Many. Like many areas of medieval Ireland the territory of Uí Maine contained a variety of septs and tribal groups who are often inter-connected by actual or synthethic genealogies.

Source: (

Gerard Madden in his History of the O'Maddens of Hy-Many tells us that –

The ancestors of the O'Madden sept originated from around Clogher in County Tyrone. Maine Mór, son of Eochaid Ferdiaghial (ruler of this part of Ulster) led some of the tribe south and with the spiritual assistance of Saint Grellan, defeated the pagan kings in East Galway before establishing the first known and most enduring plantation of the area. Maine Mór († c. 487 AD) chief for fifty years was the common ancestor of the O'Kellys and the O'Maddens.

The Hy-Many territory of the Maddens stretched from Clontuskert near Ballinasloe in County Galway to Tuamgraney in County Clare and from Athlone and Lusmagh in County Offaly westward to Seefin and Athenry, County Galway. From the year 700 AD, Hy-Many was divided between two brothers—Eoghan Finn of the northern Hy-Many and Eoghan Buac of the southern Hy-Many. Anmchad (or Ambrose) son of Eoghan was the progenitor of a group of families known as Síol Anmchadha (or Silanchia) which gave its name to the southern territory. The first Madden was Madadhan, a chieftain of the sept who was allegedly murdered by his own brother in 1008. The name is a diminutive of Madadh—a young dog that has become known in modern Irish as madra. The Maddens defended their territory against all new comers with varying degrees of success for about 700 years. With the arrival in the 13th century of De Burgos, Earl of Ulster (a very powerful family), the Maddens, while regarding themselves as independent, kept on good terms with them and accepted them as overlords. The area of Síol Anmchadha, O'Madden territory, was reduced in time with the main towns and villages being Kiltormer, Laurencetown, Clonfert, Eyrecourt, Killimor, Meelick, Lusmagh and Portumna. In the 15th century a branch of the Galway Maddens reportedly moved to England. Thomas and Robert of this family returned to Ireland some two hundred years later—Thomas settling at Baggotsrath and Robert at Donore. The 17th century witnessed the decline of this once great family and by 1839 it was significantly reduced in number. By 1909 there were fewer than six families having the name O'Madden in the whole of Ireland.

Family History and Anecdotes

The narratives that follow are living documents and therefore subject to change as more information becomes available. They are in no way intended as definitive accounts of our families' history and must not, in any circumstance, be interpreted as such.