Gafigan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Many variations of the name Gafigan have evolved since the time of its initial creation. In Gaelic it appeared as O Gaibhtheachain, which is derived from the word "gaibhtheach," which means "anxious."
Early Origins of the Gafigan family
The surname Gafigan was first found in County Mayo (Irish: Maigh Eo) located on the West coast of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. The Gavigan, Gavin, or Gavahan surname is derived from the Irish Chieftain Gabhadhan who was descended from King Colla da Crioch, one of the three Colla Kings who ruled Ireland and died about 360 A.D.
Interestingly, early Cornish records listed reference to some of the family in the parish of St. Hilary, Cornwall. "Prior to the days of Elizabeth, the barton of Treveneage belonged to an ancient family called Gaverigan, from whom it passed during that reign, with a co-heiress to the Godolphins." 
Early History of the Gafigan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gafigan research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1689, 1640, 1679 and 1929 are included under the topic Early Gafigan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gafigan Spelling Variations
The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Gafigan were encountered in the archives: Gavigan, Gavin, Gavihan, Gavahan, Gavan, Gavagain, Gavagan, Gaven, Gavin, Gavighan and many more.
Early Notables of the Gafigan family (pre 1700)
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gafigan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gafigan family
A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the Gafigan name: Daniel Gavin who landed in Virginia in 1654; John Gavin settled in Pennsylvania in 1773; Thomas Gavin settled in Maryland in 1774; James Gaven landed in America in 1690.
Related Stories +
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print