McGowan Family History
The ancient origin of the name McGowan
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name McGowan
include McGowen, O'Gowan, McGuane, Smith, Going, Gowen, Mageown and Geon. This Irish surname is hidden under the synonym Smith, which in Gaelic is 'Mac an Ghabhain', meaning 'son of the smith'. They were one of the principal septs of Breffney, their territory being in County Leitrim and the North-West Counties of Donegal and Sligo. A very prominent member of this family in County Cavan has changed his name back to O'Gowan. The town of Ballygowan still exists in County Down. Two McGowans have distinguished themselves abroad. Samuel McGowan, 1819-1897, was a jurist and confederate soldier in America. In New Zealand, James McGowan, 1841-1912, was a Statesman. The variants Going and Gowen are recorded in the Fermoy area. Mageown and Geon are synonyms of McGowan and McGeown that are mostly found in the County Down area.The McGowan
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including McGowan