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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The name Couglan has undergone many variations in the time that has passed since its genesis. In Gaelic it appeared as Mac Cochlain or O Cochlain.

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The surname Couglan was first found in Munster where Dealbha, brother of King Blad of Munster, is the traditional ancestor of this family. There were two different septs which have become known as Coughlan: the MacCoughlans, who dwelled in the barony of Garrycastle in Offaly, and the O'Coughlans, who lived in the baronies of Carbery and Ballymore in Cork. In Cork, they occupied the territories known as the baronies of Carbery and Ballymore. The MacCoughlans were the more important of the two septs until they dissolved and scattered during the 18th century. They were a Dalcassian sept, and their chief was referred to as Chief of Delvin MacCoughlan. In 1858, they were still recorded as landlords at Cloghan, near Banagher, but they vanished within fifty years. However, the O'Coughlans, who were recorded in large numbers at the time of the 1659 census, still continue to be numerous in those territories. This census shows the prefix O to have been largely discarded by that time. The MacCoghlans lost most of their extensive territories during the Anglo Norman invasion of Ireland by Strongbow in 1172, and lost even more during the Cromwellian Invasion in 1641.

One explanation for the many variations is that scribes and church officials frequently spelled the name as it sounded: an imprecise method at best. Understandably then, various spellings of the surname Couglan were found in the many archives researched. These included Coghlan, Coughlan, MacCoughlan, McCoughlan, Coglan, Couglan, Coughlin and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Couglan research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 159 and 1590 are included under the topic Early Couglan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Couglan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name Couglan: Francis Coghlan settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1879; James Coghlan settled in New York in 1812; James Coghlin settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1766.

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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: Fortis in arduis
Motto Translation: Brave in difficulties.

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  1. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  2. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  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. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  9. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  10. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  11. ...

The Couglan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Couglan Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 4 July 2013 at 16:22.

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