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

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

Names written in official documents were generally spelt as they sounded, leading to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion in records of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Geoghegan that are preserved in documents of the family history are Geoghegan, Gagahan, Gahagan, Gahaghan, Gaghan, Gegan, MacGeoghegan, Geohan and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Geoghegan research. Another 465 words (33 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1186, 1291, 1580, 1600, 1603, 1650, 1689, 1702, 1763, and 1800 are included under the topic Early Geoghegan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Geoghegan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 Geoghegan:

Geoghegan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Michael Geoghegan, a Scotch-Irish who arrived in Boston in 1737
  • Edward Geoghegan, who came to Philadelphia in 1741
  • Edward Geoghegan, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745

Geoghegan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • William Geoghegan, who arrived in America in 1811
  • Murtoch Geoghegan, who came to Philadelphia in 1815
  • Henry Geoghegan, who landed in New York, NY in 1815
  • Murtoch Geoghegan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815
  • William Geoghegan, who settled in Louisiana in 1845


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  • Ted Geoghegan (b. 1979), American filmmaker and author
  • William Geoghegan (b. 1827), Irish born American poet and journalist, who arrived in the United States in 1844
  • Thomas Geoghegan (b. 1949), American labor lawyer and politician
  • Patrick Bonaventure Geoghegan O.F.M. (1805-1864), Irish-born, Australian Roman Catholic clergyman, Bishop of Adelaide (1859-1864), Bishop of Goulburn in 1864
  • James Geoghegan (1886-1951), Irish politician and lawyer, Minister for Justice (1932-1933), Attorney General of Ireland in 1936
  • Alan Geoghegan (b. 1978), Irish hurler
  • Arthur Gerald Geoghegan (1810-1889), noted Irish poet
  • Ian "Pete" Geoghegan (1940-2003), Australian race car driver
  • Michael Francis Geoghegan CBE (b. 1953), English banking business executive, CEO of HSBC Group (2006-2010)
  • John Geoghegan (b. 1956), English footballer


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  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  2. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  5. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  11. ...

The Geoghegan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Geoghegan 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 30 November 2015 at 16:37.

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