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The surname Fegan is derived from the Gaelic "O Faodhagain," which in turn comes from the Latin word "paganus," which refers to a "villager" or "peasant."

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The surname Fegan was first found in County Tyrone (Irish:Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster, central Northern Ireland, where they settled in early times.

In the days before Gaelic or English gained any significant semblance of standardization, the scribes who created documents simply recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in the Middle Ages many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Fegan family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Fagan, Faggan, Fagin, Feagan, Fegan, Feighan, Fieghan and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fegan research. Another 299 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1423, 1663, 1638 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Fegan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Another 19 words (1 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fegan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Many Irish families left the English-controlled Ireland in the 19th century. Early immigrants were primarily after land and the opportunity of living a life entirely of their own fashioning. In the 1840s, this pattern of immigration changed as the Great Potato Famine struck Ireland. Hundreds of thousands left the diseased and starving island with little expectations but many hopes. By this time there was very little available land in the east, so many immigrants joined the movement for the western frontier lands, or settled in established urban centers. Irish immigrants not only made enormous contributions to the rapid development and population of North America, but they also brought with them a rich cultural heritage. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Fegan:

Fegan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Jean Fegan, who arrived in Louisiana in 1718
  • Daniel Fegan, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773
  • Hugh Fegan, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773

Fegan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Margaret Fegan, who landed in America in 1805
  • Ter Fegan, who landed in America in 1805
  • Terence Fegan, aged 21, arrived in New York, NY in 1805
  • Michael Fegan, aged 27, landed in Vermont in 1812
  • Patrick Fegan, aged 23, arrived in New York in 1812
  • ...

Fegan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Stephen Fegan, aged 24, a shoemaker, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • Eliza Mary Fegan, aged 29, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • Elizabeth Caroline Fegan, aged 3 months, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • W. Fegan arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tongariro" in 1888
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  • Sergeant James Fegan (1827-1886), American soldier in the U.S. Army during the American Civil War, and Indian Wars, Medal of Honor recipient
  • Roy Fegan (b. 1961), American actor, best known for his role as Simon Caine in the 1993 film The Meteor Man
  • Roshon Bernard Fegan (b. 1991), American actor, songwriter and producer
  • Robert J. Fegan, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kansas, 1972
  • Robert Benjamin Fegan (b. 1877), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kansas, 1932
  • Joseph C. Fegan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1980
  • John 'Jack' Fegan (1907-1981), Irish-born, Australian film and television actor
  • Owen Fegan (b. 1972), Irish creative director at New York Magazine, founding member of Irish rock band Rubyhorse
  • John Herbert Crangle Fegan FRCS (1868-1949), English rugby union player
  • John Lionel Fegan (1862-1932), English-born, Australian politician
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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: Deo partriaeque fidelis
Motto Translation: Faithful to God and my country.

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Citations



    Other References

    1. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
    2. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
    3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
    4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
    5. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
    6. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
    7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    8. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
    9. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
    10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
    11. ...

    The Fegan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Fegan 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 20 January 2016 at 10:54.

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