MacGowan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
MacGowan was a name for a metalworker. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Ghobhainn, which means son of the smith. 
Early Origins of the MacGowan family
The surname MacGowan was first found in Inverness-shire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Nis) divided between the present day Scottish Council Areas of Highland and Western Isles, and consisting of a large northern mainland area and various island areas off the west coast, the shire was anciently both a Pictish and Norwegian stronghold, where the name is from the Gaelic 'Govha' meaning 'a blacksmith' and as such could have been a name that applied to people throughout Scotland.
However, as in the case of clans like the Fletchers or Clarks, eventually the name became attributed to a specific area or region. As such, The Clan was also located in Nithsfield in the 12th century, and recorded as a Border Clan. To the west in Elgin and Galloway they were known as the MacGavins. Due to the Anglicization of the Gaelic name, spellings were often widely different.
"MacGowan (McGowan) is the name of an old Stirling family. Gilcallum McGoun had a precept of remission for rapine and other crimes on the lands of the abbot of Cupar, 1503 (RSS., I, 953). Gilbert Makgowin, a follower of the earl of Cassilis, was respited for murder in 1526 (ibid., 3386). William McGown in Pitcalny, a follower of Ross of Pitcalny, 1592 (RPC., V, p. 31). Murchie McGowy or Muithie McGowne in Fanmoir, Mull, was put to horn in 1629 (RPC., 2 ser. II, p. 341; III, p. 45). Alister McGhowin, an engager on royalist side, in parish of Urray, 1649 (IDR., p. 368). Alexander M'Gowne was retoured heir in the lands of Langlandes of Lochanes in the territory of Dumfries, 1672." 
"In the reign of David II there was a Clan M'Gowan, probably located somewhere on the river Nith, whose chiefship was adjudged to Donald Edzear (RMS., I, App II, 982). This Edzear was a descendant of Dunegal of Stranith (Nithsdale), whose seat was at Morton, Dumfriesshire, about the beginning of the twelfth century. The name here may indicate descent from Owen the Bald (the Eugenius Calvin of Simeon of Durham), king of the Strathclyde Britons, who was killed in 1018." 
Early History of the MacGowan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacGowan research. Another 158 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1396, 1613, 1698, 1725, 1631, 1683, 1631, 1658, 1661 and are included under the topic Early MacGowan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacGowan Spelling Variations
During the Middle Ages, there was no basic set of rules and scribes wrote according to sound. The correct spelling of Scottish names were further compromised after many haphazard translations from Gaelic to English and back. Spelling variations of the name MacGowan include MacGowan, McGowan, MacGowin, McGowin, MacGowen, McGowen, Gow, Gowan, Gowen, Gowin, MacGavin, McGavin and many more.
Early Notables of the MacGowan family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan at this time was John Gow (c. 1698-1725), Scottish notorious pirate probably born in Wick, Caithness whose short career was immortalized by Charles Johnson in "A General History of the Pyrates."
Thomas Gowan (1631-1683), was a writer on logic, "born at Caldermuir, Scotland...
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacGowan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacGowan family to Ireland
Some of the MacGowan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 99 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacGowan migration to the United States +
Scots left their country by the thousands to travel to Australia and North America. Desperate for freedom and an opportunity to fend for themselves, many paid huge fees and suffered under terrible conditions on long voyages. Still, for those who made the trip, freedom and opportunity awaited. In North America, many fought their old English oppressors in the American War of Independence. In recent years, Scottish heritage has been an increasingly important topic, as Clan societies and other organizations have renewed people's interest in their history. An examination of passenger and immigration lists shows many early settlers bearing the name of MacGowan:
MacGowan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Patrick MacGowan, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1764
MacGowan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Philip MacGowan, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811 
- Bernard MacGowan, who landed in New York, NY in 1815 
- James MacGowan, who landed in New York, NY in 1815 
- John MacGowan, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 
- Mary MacGowan, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name MacGowan (post 1700) +
- John R. MacGowan, American soldier during World War II, recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions during the Battle of Buna-Gona
- Kenneth Macgowan (1888-1963), American Academy Award winning film producer for La Cucaracha (1934), the first chair of the Department of Theater Arts at UCLA
- Samuel MacGowan (1819-1897), American Presbyterian, jurist and Confederate soldier
- Howard H. MacGowan, American politician, U.S. Collector of Customs, 1947-51 
- David Bell Macgowan (b. 1870), American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Moscow, 1915-17; U.S. Consul in Moscow, 1917-18; Vladivostok, 1918-22; Riga, 1922; Kovno, 1927 
- Basil F. Macgowan, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Hamilton, 1945; Belgrade, 1945 
- Alexander Gault MacGowan (1894-1970), British war correspondent during World War II
- Shaun MacGowan (b. 1988), British violinist, keyboardist and guitarist
- Alexander Henry Boswall MacGowan (1850-1927), Canadian businessman and politician in British Columbia
- James MacGowan, New Zealand statesman
- ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Related Stories +
The MacGowan 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: Juncta arma decori
Motto Translation: Arms united to merit.
- ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
- ^ 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)
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html