MacGawligant History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Many variations of the name MacGawligant 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 MacGawligant family
The surname MacGawligant 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.
Interestingly, early Cornish records listed reference to some of the family in the parish of St. Hilary, Cornwall. "Prior to the days of Elizabeth, the barton of Treveneage belonged to an ancient family called Gaverigan, from whom it passed during that reign, with a co-heiress to the Godolphins." 
Early History of the MacGawligant family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacGawligant research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1689, 1640, 1679 and 1929 are included under the topic Early MacGawligant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacGawligant Spelling Variations
Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name was spelt and in what language. Research into the name MacGawligant revealed many variations, including Gavigan, Gavin, Gavihan, Gavahan, Gavan, Gavagain, Gavagan, Gaven, Gavin, Gavighan and many more.
Early Notables of the MacGawligant family (pre 1700)
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacGawligant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacGawligant family
To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name MacGawligant or a variant listed above, including: 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.
- Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print