Gahagan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Gahagan family

The surname Gahagan 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 Gahagans are said to descend from Fiacha, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages.

Early History of the Gahagan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gahagan 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 Gahagan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gahagan Spelling Variations

Individual scribes in the Ireland during the Middle Ages would often record a person's name various ways. How the name was recorded depended on what that particular scribe believed the proper spelling for the name pronounced to him was. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Gahagan family name include Geoghegan, Gagahan, Gahagan, Gahaghan, Gaghan, Gegan, MacGeoghegan, Geohan and many more.

Early Notables of the Gahagan 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 Gahagan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gahagan migration to the United States +

Irish families began to immigrate to British North America and the United States in the 18th century, but the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. The earlier settlers came to North America after a great deal of consideration and by paying relatively high fees for their passage. These settlers were primarily drawn by the promise of land. Those later settlers that came during the 1840's were trying to escape the conditions of poverty, starvation, disease, and death that had stricken Ireland. Due to the enormity of their numbers and the late date of their arrival, these immigrants primarily became hired laborers instead of homesteading settlers like their predecessors. An exhaustive search of immigration and passenger lists has revealed many Irish immigrants North America bearing the name Gahagan:

Gahagan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Gahagan, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [1]
  • Thomas Gahagan, who landed in Virginia in 1747 [1]
Gahagan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Wm. Gahagan, aged 19, who immigrated to the United States from Liverpool, in 1893
Gahagan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Maggie Gahagan, aged 19, who settled in America from Tuam, in 1901
  • Kate Gahagan, aged 22, who landed in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1907
  • Walter H. Gahagan, aged 44, who landed in America, in 1908
  • Martin Gahagan, aged 45, who landed in America from Wolverhamptan, England, in 1911
  • Annie Gahagan, aged 28, who settled in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Gahagan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gahagan Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Oliver Gahagan U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gahagan (post 1700) +

  • Helen Gahagan (1900-1980), American singer, actress and politician who has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • James Gahagan (1927-1999), American abstract expressionist painter
  • Dennis Gahagan (b. 1817), Irish-born, early settler in San Diego, California, American Judge of the 1st Instance of the District of San Diego (1849 to 1850)
  • William Gahagan, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1896 [3]
  • George W. Gahagan, American politician, Member of North Carolina State House of Representatives from Madison County, 1868-69 [3]
  • George M. Gahagan (1878-1964), American Democrat politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Lenawee County 2nd District, 1913-14 [3]
  • Andrew Jackson Gahagan, American politician, Mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1878 [3]
  • John Gahagan (b. 1958), Scottish former footballer


  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)
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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