Coggan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Celtic in origin, the name Coggan came from the rugged landscape of Wales. The name's origins go back to a time when the Coggan 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 Coggan family

The surname Coggan 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 included: 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]

In Devon, Bampton was the passed from the Paganell "heiress to Sir Milo Cogan, 'the great soldier and undertaker of the Irish Conquest.' Her descendant, Richard Cogan, had licence in 1336 to castellate his mansion house at Bampton, and to empark his wood and other lands at Uffculme. Every vestige of the castle has long disappeared." [7]

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)]" [8]

The name "is uncommon in the Isle of Man." [9]

Early History of the Coggan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coggan 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 Coggan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Coggan Spelling Variations

The Welsh have an extremely large amount of spelling variations of their native surnames to their credit. The priest or the scribe taking the official records determined how the spoken name was to be made literal. As time progressed, the old Brythonic names of Wales were recorded in English, which was especially problematic since the English language had extreme difficulty recording the highly inflected sounds of Cymraeg. 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 could be indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Coggan have included Cogan, Cogen, Coogan, Coogen, Coogin, Coggan, Coggen, Coggin, Coggins, Gogan, Goggin and many more.

Early Notables of the Coggan 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 Coggan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Coggan family to Ireland

Some of the Coggan 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 Coggan migration to the United States +

Many Welsh families joined their Scottish and Irish neighbors during the late 1800s and early 1900s in seeking refuge in North America. Like the Irish and Scottish, many Welsh anxiously awaited the work, freedom, and opportunities that they believed lay in North America. Those who did journey over to the United States and what became known as Canada often realized those dreams, but only through much toil and perseverance. Whenever and however these Welsh immigrants arrived in North America, they were instrumental in the creation of the industry, commerce, and cultural heritage within those two developing nations. In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Coggan were found:

Coggan Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Coggan, who settled in New England in 1630
  • John Coggan, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1633 [10]
  • Frances Coggan, who arrived in Virginia in 1677 [10]

Canada Coggan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Coggan Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Elis Coggan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • James Coggan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Sarah Coggan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Thomas Coggan, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
Coggan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Coggan, aged 24, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Nancy" in 1834
  • Ellen Coggan, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Nancy" in 1834

Contemporary Notables of the name Coggan (post 1700) +

  • Frederick Donald Coggan (b. 1909), Baron Coggan, the 101st Archbishop of Canterbury from 1974 to 1980


The Coggan 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. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Moore, A.W., Manx Names. London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1906. Print
  10. ^ 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)


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