Cogan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Celtic in origin, the name Cogan came from the rugged landscape of Wales. The name's origins go back to a time when the Cogan family lived in the parish of Cogan, which is in the diocese of Llandaff in the county of Glamorgan. The name literally means "a cup or bowl" [1] and probably meant "dweller in a bowl-shaped valley." [2]

Early Origins of the Cogan family

The surname Cogan was first found in Glamorganshire (Welsh: Sir Forgannwg), a region of South Wales, anciently part of the Welsh kingdom of Glywysing at Cogan, a parish, in the union of Cardiff, hundred of Dinas- Powys, county of Glamorgan, South Wales. [3]

"Cogan or Coggan is an ancient west of England name. There was a John de Cogan, of Hunispull, Somerset, in the reign of Edward I.; and in the reign of Richard II., William Cogan was sheriff of the county. De Cogan was a name found also in different parts of Devonshire in the time of Edward I., and it has long been an old Tiverton name." [4]

Exploring Somerset in more detail, Richard Cogan was registered there 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III) [5] and the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 inlcuded: John de Cogan, Somerset; and John de Cogan, Devon [6]

"From this it is clear that the south-west forms of the surname are derived from the Llandaff parish. To Somerset and Devon was not a long journey." [6]

Scotland was home to the family about this time. "Peter Cogan witnessed the gift of an acre of land in Coldingham to the monks of St. Cuthbert, and Robert Cogan witnessed a charter of lands in Raynigton to the Priory of Coldingham, 1275. Robert Cogan del counte de Berewyk rendered homage, 1296. [(to King Edward I during his invasion of Scotland)]" [7]

The name "is uncommon in the Isle of Man." [8]

Early History of the Cogan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cogan research. Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1605, 1716, 1723, 1780, 1809, 1684, 1731, 1545, 1607, 1545, 1686, 1591, 1593, 1607, 1233, 1278, 1230 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Cogan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cogan Spelling Variations

Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Cogan have included Cogan, Cogen, Coogan, Coogen, Coogin, Coggan, Coggen, Coggin, Coggins, Gogan, Goggin and many more.

Early Notables of the Cogan family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Thomas Cogan (1545?-1607), English physician, born about 1545 at Chard, Somersetshire. He was educated at Oxford. He practised as a physician at Manchester. Before 1686 he married Ellen, daughter of Sir Edmund...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cogan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Cogan family to Ireland

Some of the Cogan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 93 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Cogan migration to the United States +

Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Cogan:

Cogan Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Cogan who settled in Boston in 1633 with his wife Abigail
  • Francis Cogan, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [9]
Cogan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hugh Cogan, who landed in America in 1807 [9]
  • James Cogan, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1864 [9]
  • Mary A Cogan, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1864 [9]
  • Bernard Cogan, aged 25, who settled in America from Sligo, in 1892
  • Bertie Cogan, aged 6, who immigrated to the United States from Sligo, in 1892
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Cogan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Agnes Cogan, aged 28, who immigrated to the United States from Bradford, in 1903
  • Annie Cogan, aged 20, who landed in America from Castlerahan, in 1905
  • Andrew Cogan, aged 40, who immigrated to the United States from Cork, in 1906
  • Annie Cogan, aged 23, who immigrated to America from Aughamor, Ireland, in 1907
  • Anna Cogan, aged 43, who landed in America from Paris, France, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Cogan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Cogan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Cogan, aged 30 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Avon" departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [10]
  • Mrs. ? Cogan, aged 75 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Coromandel" departing 13th May 1847 from Dublin, Ireland; the ship arrived on 2nd July 1847 but she died on board [11]
  • Henry Cogan, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862

Australia Cogan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Cogan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Cogan, (b. 1858), aged 20, Cornish carpenter travelling aboard the ship "La Hogue" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 21st October 1878 [12]

New Zealand Cogan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Cogan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Dr. Cogan, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "True Briton" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th February 1853 [13]
  • Miss Mary Cogan, (b. 1835), aged 27, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [14]
  • William Cogan, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Anne Dymes" in 1864
  • Edward Cogan, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Quebec" in 1879
  • C. Cogan, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Quebec" in 1879

Contemporary Notables of the name Cogan (post 1700) +

  • Fanny Cogan (1866-1929), American stage and silent film actress
  • David Glendenning Cogan (1908-1993), American ophthalmologist, first described "Cogan syndrome"
  • Anthony Michael "Tony" Cogan (b. 1976), retired American Major League baseball pitcher
  • William Cogan, American Democrat politician, Member of New Hampshire State House of Representatives from Portsmouth 3rd Ward; Elected 1938 [15]
  • Thomas J. Cogan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1912 [15]
  • Mary T. Cogan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1980 [15]
  • John T. Cogan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from South Dakota, 1924 [15]
  • Jeremy D. Cogan, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 2008 [15]
  • Andrew Cogan, American politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for New York, 1920 [15]
  • William Cogan (d. 1774), English philanthropist, son of John Cogan by Elizabeth, daughter of John Battie, a citizen of Kingston-upon-Hull [16]
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Cogan Motto +

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: Constans fidei
Motto Translation: Constant to honor.


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Institute of Historical Research, 1849, Print.
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  8. ^ Moore, A.W., Manx Names. London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1906. Print
  9. ^ 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)
  10. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 19)
  11. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 69)
  12. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 19). Emigrants to Australia NSW 1860 -88 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/nsw_passenger_lists_1860_88.pdf
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 20) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  16. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020


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