Degen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The ancient Gaelic form of the Irish name Degen was O Dubhaigan. The first portion of the name is the word dubh, which means black; the second portion is likely some obsolete Irish personal name.

Early Origins of the Degen family

The surname Degen was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where O'DuilAgin, O'Dugan, (or O'Deegan), chief of Muintir ConIochta, a district in the parish of Tomgraney, in the barony of Tullagh. The family line is directly traceable to Fergus Mor (Fergus the Great). In turn his ancestry is associated with King Ir, brother of the equally famous Heremon. The name was first found near what is now the town of Fermoy, in the territory formerly known as Roche's Country. This territory encompassed the junction of the counties Cork, Tipperary and Waterford. In modern times, the surname is generally found in these three counties. However, there was another O'Dugan sept in the territory called Ui Maine, also called Hy Many, which spans eastern county Galway and southern county Roscommon. This sept gave their name to the place called Ballyduggan, near Loughrea.

Important Dates for the Degen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Degen research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1327, 1813, 1896, 1813, 1896, 1823 and 1884 are included under the topic Early Degen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Degen Spelling Variations

Many different spelling variations of the surname Degen exist in the archives researched. Ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. Different spellings that were found include Dugan, Duggan, O'Duggan, Dougan, Douggan, Dewgan, Deugan and many more.

Early Notables of the Degen family (pre 1700)

Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Degen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Degen migration to the United States

Irish emigration to North America began modestly in the late 18th century. At this time, Irish families made the journey to British North America and the United States by choice and after careful consideration: they were primarily in search of a suitably large stretch of land to call their own. This pattern would change most dramatically during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For example, the years 1825-1845 saw approximately 450,000 heading to British North America and 400,000 to the United States, but in 1847, at the height of the famine, it is estimated that more than 104,000 Irish immigrants went to British North America and more than 119,000 to the United States. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Degen:

Degen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hans Georg Tilemann Degen, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1736 [1]
  • Anna Maria Hacker Degen, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1737
  • Johann Degen, who landed in America in 1738 [1]
  • Johann Henrich Degen, who arrived in Carolina in 1738 [1]
  • Hans Jacob Degen, who arrived in America in 1740 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Degen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Degen, who landed in New York in 1819 [1]
  • Carl Degen, who landed in North America in 1832-1849 [1]
  • Dorothee Degen, aged 35, who landed in New York in 1849 [1]
  • Louise Degen, aged 29, who arrived in New York in 1849 [1]
  • Georg Degen, aged 20, who landed in New York in 1854 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Degen (post 1700)

  • Bruce Degen (b. 1945), American illustrator and writer, best known for for illustrating The Magic School Bus series (1986-2006) of children's books
  • Joseph Degen, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kansas, 1908 [2]
  • Bernice Degen, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1980 [2]
  • Silvije Degen (b. 1942), born in Bjelovar, a Croatian lawyer and politician from Zagreb
  • Philipp Degen (b. 1983), Swiss national footballer
  • Philipp Degen (b. 1983), Swiss national currently playing football for the German Borussia Dortmund team
  • Donna Degen Baer, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Delegate to Michigan State Constitutional Convention from Wexford District, 1961
  • Degen Elizabeth Ellen Kasper (b. 1989), American beauty pageant holder, Miss Alaska Teen USA in 2006

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  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from
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