The people known in ancient Scotland
as the Picts
were the ancestors of the first to use MacGowem as a name. It was a name for a metalworker. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Ghobhainn,
which means son of the smith. CITATION[CLOSE]
Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
Early Origins of the MacGowem family
The surname MacGowem 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.
Early History of the MacGowem family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacGowem research.Another 158 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1396, 1613, 1698, 1725 and are included under the topic Early MacGowem History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacGowem Spelling Variations
In medieval Scotland
, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations
were the result. Over the years, the name MacGowem has been spelled MacGowan, McGowan, MacGowin, McGowin, MacGowen, McGowen, Gow, Gowan, Gowen, Gowin, MacGavin, McGavin and many more.
Early Notables of the MacGowem family (pre 1700)
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacGowem Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacGowem family to Ireland
Some of the MacGowem 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.
Migration of the MacGowem family to the New World and Oceana
In such difficult times, Ireland
, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence
. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through Clan
societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of MacGowem: Thomas Gowen who settled in Virginia in 1635; James Gowen settled in Annapolis in 1729; Duncan Gowan settled in Barbados in 1745; John and Walter Gow arrived in New York in 1820.
The MacGowem 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.
MacGowem Family Crest Products
- ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print