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MacGafigan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



Many variations of the name MacGafigan 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."

Early Origins of the MacGafigan family


The surname MacGafigan was 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.

Early History of the MacGafigan family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacGafigan research.
Another 188 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1689, 1640, 1679 and 1929 are included under the topic Early MacGafigan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacGafigan Spelling Variations


The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name MacGafigan were encountered in the archives: Gavigan, Gavin, Gavihan, Gavahan, Gavan, Gavagain, Gavagan, Gaven, Gavin, Gavighan and many more.

Early Notables of the MacGafigan family (pre 1700)


Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacGafigan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the MacGafigan family to the New World and Oceana


In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the MacGafigan family came to North America quite early: Daniel Gavin who landed in Virginia in 1654; John Gavin settled in Pennsylvania in 1773; Thomas Gavin settled in Maryland in 1774; James Gaven landed in America in 1690.

MacGafigan Family Crest Products



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