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The ancient Gaelic form of the Irish name Dugan was O Dubhaigan. The first portion of the name is the word dubh, which means black; the second portion is likely some obsolete Irish personal name.

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The surname Dugan was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clįr) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where O'DuilAgin, O'Dugan, (or O'Deegan), chief of Muintir ConIochta, a district in the parish of Tomgraney, in the barony of Tullagh. The family line is directly traceable to Fergus Mor(Fergus the Great). In turn his ancestry is associated with King Ir, brother of the equally famous Heremon. The name was first found near what is now the town of Fermoy, in the territory formerly known as Roche's Country. This territory encompassed the junction of the counties Cork, Tipperary and Waterford. In modern times, the surname is generally found in these three counties. However, there was another O'Dugan sept in the territory called Ui Maine, also called Hy Many, which spans eastern county Galway and southern county Roscommon. This sept gave their name to the place called Ballyduggan, near Loughrea.

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, was what guided scribes and church officials in recording names, a practice that often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Dugan are preserved in documents that were examined for evidence of the family's history. The various spellings of Dugan included Dugan, Duggan, O'Duggan, Dougan, Douggan, Dewgan, Deugan and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dugan research. Another 309 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1327, 1813, 1896, 1813, 1896, 1823 and 1884 are included under the topic Early Dugan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dugan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the 18th and 19th centuries, hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants landed on North American shores. Although many of them were merely looking for a free plot of land and living of their very own, many later immigrants were desperately fleeing an overcrowded land that did not have sufficient food for its inhabitants. The exodus from Ireland was greatest during the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine had stricken the island. Although this large influx of Irish was unpopular with the great majority of people already established within the major centers, these Irish were critical to the speedy development of the United States and those colonies that would eventually become known as Canada. These immigrants provided the cheap labor required to build modern roads, bridges, canals, and railways. Research of passenger and immigration lists has shown a number of immigrants to North America baring the name of Dugan:

Dugan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • James Dugan who settled in New York State in 1775
  • Neal Dugan, who landed in America in 1795
  • Neil Dugan, who arrived in America in 1795
  • Thomas Dugan, who landed in America in 1795
  • William Dugan, who landed in New York in 1798


Dugan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Edwd Dugan, aged 21, arrived in America in 1821
  • Edward Dugan, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1821
  • John Dugan, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • Michael Dugan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • J Dugan, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850


Dugan Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. Henry Duker U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784
  • Mr. John Dugenberry U.E. who settled in Ernest Town [Ernestown], Ontario c. 1786

Dugan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • John Dugan, aged 12, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Dorcas Savage" from Belfast

Dugan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Dugan, aged 22, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Surge"
  • Margaret Dugan, aged 21, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Epaminondas"
  • Mary Dugan, aged 18, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "William Stevenson"
  • Bridget Dugan, aged 38, a washerwoman, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "William Stevenson"
  • Patrick Dugan, aged 26, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "David Malcolm"


Dugan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Catherine Dugan, aged 23, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1876

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  • Alan Dugan (1923-2003), American poet awarded the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
  • Jeff Dugan (b. 1981), American NFL football player with the Minnesota Vikings
  • Raymond Smith Dugan (1878-1940), American astronomer, textbook author and professor at Princeton University
  • Joseph Anthony "Joe" Dugan (1897-1982), American Major League Baseball player (1917 to 1931)
  • Dennis Dugan (b. 1946), American actor and film director
  • Tom Dugan (1889-1955), Irish film actor
  • Michael Dugan (b. 1937), American U.S. Air Force General, Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force (1990)
  • Darcy Ezekiel Dugan (1920-1991), infamous Australian bank robber
  • Major General Sir Winston Joseph Dugan (1877-1951), British administrator who served as Governor of South Australia


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  • Thomas Hinds Duggan (also Dugan) Descendants and Ancestor by Alice Duggan Gracy.
  • A Cameo Study of the Descendants of George William Dugan (1810-1885) by Lucille Dugan.
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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  5. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  8. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  9. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Dugan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Dugan 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 23 February 2016 at 14:15.

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