Foggan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
When the Strongbownian's arrived in Ireland there was already a system for creating patronymic names in place. Therefore, the native population regarded many of the Anglo-Norman naming practices that these settlers were accustomed to as rather unusual. Despite their differences, the two different systems eventually merged together rather insidiously. The Strongbownians, when they arrived, displayed a preference for used nickname surnames. Two of the most prevalent forms were oath nicknames and imperative names. Oath names often carried blessings or were formed from habitual expressions. Imperative names, formed from a verb added to a noun or an adverb, metaphorically described the bearer's occupations. The nick name surname Foggan is derived from a nickname for a person who wore a habitual expression of discontent or unhappiness. The surname Foggan is derived from the Welsh word gwgan, which is a diminutive of gwg, which means frown or scowl. The Gaelic form of the surname is Ugán.
Early Origins of the Foggan family
The surname Foggan was first found in Pembrokeshire in southern Wales. However, it is believed that they were descended from Gwrgyn, the Lord of Bryn in the county of Denbigh in north Wales. Very early in the family's history, an important branch were granted lands by Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke, in his invasion of Ireland in 1172 and thus began the dual country origins of the name. The progenitor of the family is believed to be Gwgan Ap, Lord of Brecknock, one of whose descendants married the heiress of Wiston, who was a descendant of Wizo the Fleming, Lord of Daugleddy.
One of the first on record was Sir John Wogan (d. 1321?), Chief Justice and Governor of Ireland. He was the son of "Sir Matthew Wogan (by Avicia, heiress of Walter Malephant), and great-grandson of Gwgan, son of Bleddyn ap Maenarch, Lord of Brecknock. Gwgan, whose name in course of time was softened into Wogan, married Gwenllian, the heiress of Wiston in Pembrokeshire, where his descendants were subsequently settled. " 
Early History of the Foggan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Foggan research. Another 51 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1542, 1448, 1542, 1556, 1543, 1554, 1588, 1644, 1621, 1622, 1625, 1629, 1640, 1644, 1620, 1625, 1648, 1649, 1702, 1672, 1638, 1708, 1679, 1685, 1700, 1681, 1685, 1678, 1758, 1317, 1321, 1295, 1313, 1317, 1650, 1716 and 1654 are included under the topic Early Foggan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Foggan Spelling Variations
Church officials and medieval scribes often simply spelled names as they sounded. As a result, a single person's name may have been recorded a dozen different ways during his lifetime. Spelling variations for the name Foggan include: Vogan, Wogan, Vogin, Vogen, Voggan, Woggan, Woggin, Woggen, Woggon, Voggon, Voygan, Voigan, Woigan, Woiggan, Wogand, Vogand, Vogant, Wogant, Woggant and many more.
Early Notables of the Foggan family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Sir Henry Wogan, steward of the earldom of Pembroke in 1448; Sir John Wogan, a gentleman usher of the king's chamber and was granted certain offices in Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire in consideration of his services in England and abroad, Sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1542 and 1556, and of Pembrokeshire in 1543 and 1554; Sir John Wogan (1588-1644) a Welsh politician, Member of Parliament for Pembrokeshire (1621-1622), (1625-1629) and (1640-1644); and his son, Thomas Wogan (born circa 1620), a Welsh Member of Parliament and one of the regicides...
Another 97 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Foggan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Foggan family to Ireland
Some of the Foggan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 157 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Foggan family
Ireland went through one of the most devastating periods in its history with the arrival of the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. Many also lost their lives from typhus, fever and dysentery. And poverty was the general rule as tenant farmers were often evicted because they could not pay the high rents. Emigration to North America gave hundreds of families a chance at a life where work, freedom, and land ownership were all possible. For those who made the long journey, it meant hope and survival. The Irish emigration to British North America and the United States opened up the gates of industry, commerce, education and the arts. Early immigration and passenger lists have shown many Irish people bearing the name Foggan: David, James, and John Vogan arrived in Philadelphia in 1858; Patrick Wogan arrived in New York State in 1804; George Wogan settled in Virginia in 1663.
- Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print