MacGavin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The MacGavin 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.
Early Origins of the MacGavin family
The surname MacGavin was first found in County Cavan, where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity. The Irish name MacGowan (not to be confused with the Scottish, which roots from MacGoun) is most often hidden under the ubiquitous name Smith. In Irish, the name is Mac an Ghabhain, which means 'son of the blacksmith'; thus its translation to Smith. In England, Horsington Manor in Somerset was owned by the Gowens family from sometime in the 1500s through 1653 when it was sold.
Early History of the MacGavin family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacGavin research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 165 and 1659 are included under the topic Early MacGavin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacGavin Spelling Variations
Spelling variations of this family name include: Smith, MacGowan, McGowan, MacGowin, McGowin, MacGowen, McGowen, Gow, Gowan, Gowen, Gowin, MacGavin and many more.
Early Notables of the MacGavin family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early MacGavin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacGavin migration to the United States +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
MacGavin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- William Macgavin, who arrived in New York in 1831 
- John MacGavin, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1844
MacGavin Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Dorothy Macgavin, aged 1, who settled in San Francisco, in 1914
- Drummond Macgavin, aged 31, who immigrated to San Francisco, in 1914
- Helen Baker Macgavin, aged 25, who settled in San Francisco, in 1914
Related Stories +
The MacGavin Motto +
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.
- ^ 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)