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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish Gowens family come from? What is the Irish Gowens family crest and coat of arms? When did the Gowens family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Gowens family history?

The Gowens surname derives from the Irish Gaelic name Mac an Ghabhain, which means "son of the blacksmith." As such, the name was probably originally occupational. It has often appeared in its Anglicized form Smith.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Smith, MacGowan, McGowan, MacGowin, McGowin, MacGowen, McGowen, Gow, Gowan, Gowen, Gowin, MacGavin and many more.

First found in County Cavan, where the Sept originated.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gowens research. Another 271 words(19 lines of text) covering the year 1659 is included under the topic Early Gowens History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Gowens Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Archibald McGowan, who arrived with his children Duncan, John and Margaret in New York in 1739; Patrick MacGowan, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1764. Charles, Daniel, Edward, James, John, Mark, Michael, Patrick, Peter, Roger, Thomas, and William MacGowan all arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860.

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Tenebras expellit et hostes
Motto Translation: He drives forth the darkness and the foe.

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  1. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  5. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  11. ...

The Gowens Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gowens Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 27 February 2012 at 12:48.

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