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

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

When the Strongbownian's arrived in Ireland there was already a system for creating patronymic names in place. Therefore, the native population regarded many of the Anglo-Norman naming practices that these settlers were accustomed to as rather unusual. Despite their differences, the two different systems eventually merged together rather insidiously. The Strongbownians, when they arrived, displayed a preference for used nickname surnames. Two of the most prevalent forms were oath nicknames and imperative names. Oath names often carried blessings or were formed from habitual expressions. Imperative names, formed from a verb added to a noun or an adverb, metaphorically described the bearer's occupations. The nick name surname Woigan is derived from a nickname for a person who wore a habitual expression of discontent or unhappiness. The surname Woigan is derived from the Welsh word gwgan, which is a diminutive of gwg, which means frown or scowl. The Gaelic form of the surname is Ugán.

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During an investigation of the origin of each name, it was found that church officials and medieval scribes spelled many surnames as they sounded. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, a name could be spelt numerous ways. Some of the spelling variations for the name Woigan include Vogan, Wogan, Vogin, Vogen, Voggan, Woggan, Woggin, Woggen, Woggon, Voggon, Voygan, Voigan, Woigan, Woiggan, Wogand, Vogand, Vogant, Wogant, Woggant and many more.

First found in Pembrokeshire in southern Wales. However, it is believed that they were descended from Gwrgyn, the Lord of Bryn in the county of Denbigh in north Wales. Very early in the family's history, an important branch were granted lands by Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke, in his invasion of Ireland in 1172 and thus began the dual country origins of the name. The progenitor of the family is believed to be Gwgan Ap, Lord of Brecknock, one of whose descendants married the heiress of Wiston, who was a descendant of Wizo the Fleming, Lord of Daugleddy.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woigan research. Another 103 words(7 lines of text) covering the years 1542, 1448, 1542, 1556, 1543, 1554, 1648, 1649, 1702, 1672, 1638, 1708, 1679, 1685, 1700, 1681, 1685, 1317, 1295, 1317, 1650 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Woigan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 187 words(13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woigan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Woigan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 233 words(17 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the 1840s, Ireland experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Woigan: David, James, and John Vogan arrived in Philadelphia in 1858; Patrick Wogan arrived in New York State in 1804; George Wogan settled in Virginia in 1663.

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  1. Thirsk, Joan ed. Et. Al. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. 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).
  7. Evans, Gwynfor. Wales: A History: 2000 Years of Welsh History. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-120-2).
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  11. ...

The Woigan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Woigan 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 29 January 2014 at 12:24.

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