Show ContentsGeoghegan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Geoghegan family

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.

Early History of the Geoghegan family

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

Geoghegan Spelling Variations

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.

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

Geoghegan Ranking

In the United States, the name Geoghegan is the 12,840th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States Geoghegan 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 Geoghegan:

Geoghegan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Michael Geoghegan, a Scotch-Irish who arrived in Boston in 1737
  • Edward Geoghegan, who settled in Philadelphia in 1741
  • Edward Geoghegan, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745 [2]
Geoghegan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Geoghegan, who arrived in America in 1811 [2]
  • Murtoch Geoghegan, who settled in Philadelphia in 1815
  • Henry Geoghegan, who landed in New York, NY in 1815 [2]
  • Murtoch Geoghegan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815 [2]
  • William Geoghegan, who settled in Louisiana in 1845
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Geoghegan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Geoghegan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Michael Geoghegan, (b. 1783), aged 39, Irish clerk who was convicted in Westmeath, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Brampton" on 8th November 1822, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Mr. James Geoghegan, (b. 1817), aged 21, Irish labourer who was convicted in Westmeath, Ireland for life for assault, transported aboard the "Elphinstone" on 29th December 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]

New Zealand Geoghegan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Geoghegan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Patrick Geoghegan, (b. 1838), aged 24, British ploughman travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Geoghegan (post 1700) +

  • 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

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th October 2020). Retrieved from
  4. Convict Records Australia. Retrieved on 18th March 2022 from
  5. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook