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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Where did the Irish Gavagan family come from? What is the Irish Gavagan family crest and coat of arms? When did the Gavagan family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Gavagan family history?

Many variations of the name Gavagan 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."

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Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Gavagan family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Gavigan, Gavin, Gavihan, Gavahan, Gavan, Gavagain, Gavagan, Gaven, Gavin, Gavighan and many more.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gavagan research. Another 188 words (13 lines of text) covering the year 1689 is included under the topic Early Gavagan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Gavagan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gavagan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Winifred Gavagan, aged 18, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Admiral Boxer"

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  • Joseph Andrew Gavagan (1892-1968), American Democrat politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County 22nd District, 1923-29; U.S. Representative from New York 21st District, 1929-43
  • Francis P. Gavagan, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Chesterton, Indiana, 1936-53


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  1. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  2. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  9. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  10. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  11. ...

The Gavagan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gavagan 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 3 November 2015 at 11:42.

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