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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

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

The Gowin surname derives from the Irish Gaelic name Mac an Ghabhain, which means "son of the blacksmith." As such, the name was probably originally occupational. It has often appeared in its Anglicized form Smith.


Spelling variations of this family name include: Smith, MacGowan, McGowan, MacGowin, McGowin, MacGowen, McGowen, Gow, Gowan, Gowen, Gowin, MacGavin and many more.

First found in County Cavan, where the Sept originated.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gowin research. Another 271 words (19 lines of text) covering the year 1659 is included under the topic Early Gowin History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gowin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Danl Gowin, who arrived in Virginia in 1705


The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Tenebras expellit et hostes
Motto Translation: He drives forth the darkness and the foe.


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  1. 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.
  2. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  3. 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).
  4. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  5. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  9. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  10. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  11. ...

The Gowin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gowin 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 9 September 2015 at 00:32.

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