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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Irish Fegan family come from? When did the Fegan family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Fegan family history?

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."


Since the early scribes and church officials who recorded names in official documents spelled a person's name as it sounded to them, a single person's name was recorded under several different variations and which today appears to denote more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Fegan that are preserved in archival documents of this era include Fagan, Faggan, Fagin, Feagan, Fegan, Feighan, Fieghan and many more.

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.


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.


Another 21 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fegan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


The late 18th saw the beginnings of a steady pattern of immigration out of Ireland. These initial settlers were drawn to North America by the promise of land. The prospect of their own tract of land to work solely for themselves was especially appealing to those that rented out farmland in Ireland from English landowners who were frequently absent. These immigrants were critical to occupying the land of the eastern United States and British North America. This pattern continued steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine sparked a major exodus of Irish families. Unlike their predecessors, the Irish were frequently destitute and desperate, and North America was regarded as holding more promise than trying to eke out an existence in Ireland - if they survived the disease and starvation that the famine had created. This great mass of people frequently experienced more racial discrimination by the general population when they arrived on North American shores, but they were warmly received by those industrialists with coal mines to work, products to manufacture, and railways to build. These Irish immigrants provided the nations of the United States and, what would later become Canada, with the cheap labor that was required for their rapid development as major industrialized nations. Whenever and however Irish immigrants came to North America, they were instrumental to its cultural, economic, and industrial development. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many 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

  • Margt 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


  • 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
  • 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



  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. 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.
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  4. 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).
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  9. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  10. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 28 October 2013 at 11:13.

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