Gouan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The clans of the Pictish people in ancient Scotland were the ancestors of the first people to use the name Gouan. It was a name for a metalworker. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Ghobhainn, which means son of the smith. 
Early Origins of the Gouan family
The surname Gouan was first found in Inverness-shire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Nis) divided between the present day Scottish Council Areas of Highland and Western Isles, and consisting of a large northern mainland area and various island areas off the west coast, the shire was anciently both a Pictish and Norwegian stronghold, where the name is from the Gaelic 'Govha' meaning 'a blacksmith' and as such could have been a name that applied to people throughout Scotland. However, as in the case of clans like the Fletchers or Clarks, eventually the name became attributed to a specific area or region. As such, The Clan was also located in Nithsfield in the 12th century, and recorded as a Border Clan. To the west in Elgin and Galloway they were known as the MacGavins.
Important Dates for the Gouan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gouan research. Another 158 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1396, 1613, 1698, 1725 and are included under the topic Early Gouan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gouan Spelling Variations
In the Middle ages, spelling and translation were not yet regulated by any general rules. spelling variations in names were common even among members of one family unit. Gouan has appeared MacGowan, McGowan, MacGowin, McGowin, MacGowen, McGowen, Gow, Gowan, Gowen, Gowin, MacGavin, McGavin and many more.
Early Notables of the Gouan family (pre 1700)
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gouan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gouan family to Ireland
Some of the Gouan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 99 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gouan family
Faced by this persecution and the generally unstable political climate of those days, many Scots chose to leave their homeland for Ireland, Australia, and North America in search of greater opportunity and freedom. The colonies across the Atlantic were the most popular choice, but a passage there was neither cheap nor easily suffered. Passengers arrived sick and poor, but those who made it intact often found land and more tolerant societies in which to live. These brave settlers formed the backbone of the burgeoning nations of Canada and the United States. It is only this century that the ancestors of these families have begun to recover their collective identity through the patriotic highland games and Clan societies that have sprung up throughout North America. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Gouan: Thomas Gowen who settled in Virginia in 1635; James Gowen settled in Annapolis in 1729; Duncan Gowan settled in Barbados in 1745; John and Walter Gow arrived in New York in 1820.
- ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print