Show ContentsGagen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The original Gaelic form of the Gagen surname is Mag Eochagain, a patronymic derived from the personal name Eochaidh.

Early Origins of the Gagen family

The surname Gagen was first found in the county of Westmeath (Irish: An Iarmhí) in the Irish Midlands, province of Leinster, in the barony of Moycashel at Kilbeggan where they held a family seat from ancient times. Traditionally, the Gagens are said to descend from Fiacha, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages.

Early History of the Gagen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gagen research. Another 148 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1186, 1291, 1291, 1603, 1600, 1689, 1580, 1650, 1702, 1763, 1800 and 1749 are included under the topic Early Gagen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gagen Spelling Variations

Scribes and church officials, lacking today's standardized spelling rules, recorded names by how they were pronounced. This imprecise guide often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Gagen are preserved in documents of the family history. The various spellings of the name that were found include Geoghegan, Gagahan, Gahagan, Gahaghan, Gaghan, Gegan, MacGeoghegan, Geohan and many more.

Early Notables of the Gagen family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Conal MacGeoghegan (circa 1580-1650) Chief of the sept MacGeoghegan, historian who translated the Annals of Clonmacnoise; James MacGeoghegan (1702-1763) of Westmeath, an ordained priest in Paris, who wrote a "History of Ireland;" and Edward Geoghegan of Dublin was one of the most eminent surgeons of his time (early 1800s). Usher Gagahan (d. 1749), was an Irish classical scholar, belonged to a good family of Westmeath, Ireland; was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, but took...
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gagen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Gagen migration to the United States +

In the 18th and 19th centuries, thousands of Irish families fled an Ireland that was forcibly held through by England through its imperialistic policies. A large portion of these families crossed the Atlantic to the shores of North America. The fate of these families depended on when they immigrated and the political allegiances they showed after they arrived. Settlers that arrived before the American War of Independence may have moved north to Canada at the war's conclusion as United Empire Loyalists. Such Loyalists were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Those that fought for the revolution occasionally gained the land that the fleeing Loyalist vacated. After this period, free land and an agrarian lifestyle were not so easy to come by in the East. So when seemingly innumerable Irish immigrants arrived during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s, free land for all was out of the question. These settlers were instead put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Whenever they came, Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Gagen or a variant listed above, including:

Gagen Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Fra Gagen, who landed in Virginia in 1653 [1]
Gagen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Gagen, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1851 [1]
  • Henry Gagen, aged 33, who immigrated to the United States, in 1895
  • Miss Gagen, aged 25, who landed in America, in 1895
  • Patrick Gagen, aged 63, who landed in America, in 1895
  • Mrs. John Gagen, aged 54, who immigrated to America, in 1896
Gagen Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Thomas Richard Gagen, aged 23, who immigrated to the United States, in 1923

Contemporary Notables of the name Gagen (post 1700) +

  • Martin Gagen, American actor, known for his work on Carrier (2006), The Master (2012) and Trauma (2009)
  • Dr. Mary Gagen, British Associate Professor of Geography at Swansea University

  1. 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) on Facebook