The surname O'fagen is derived from the Gaelic "O Faodhagain," which in turn comes from the Latin word "paganus," which refers to a "villager" or "peasant."
(Irish:Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of
, where they settled in early times.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'fagen research.Another 150 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1423, 1663, 1638 and 1718 are included under the topic Early O'fagen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
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 O'fagen that are preserved in archival documents of this era include Fagan, Faggan, Fagin, Feagan, Fegan, Feighan, Fieghan and many more.
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 O'fagen: Alexander, Ambrose, Arthur, Catherine, Charles, Daniel, Edward, Henry, Hugh, James, John, Mary, Michael, Patrick, Thomas Fagan, who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1865.
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.