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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The illustrious surname MacHgan finds its origin in the rocky, sea swept coastal area of southwestern England known as Cornwall. Although surnames were fairly widespread in medieval England, people were originally known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames were adopted is extremely interesting. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Lords and their tenants often became known by the name of the feudal territory they owned or lived on. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People at the time that surnames first came into use. Local surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name MacHgan is a local type of surname and the MacHgan family lived in the village of Mawgan in Cornwall. The surname MacHgan is a habitation name that was originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The surname originated as a means of identifying individuals from a particular area. In the Middle Ages people often assumed the name of the place that they originally lived as their surname during the course of travel.

MacHgan Early Origins



The surname MacHgan was first found in Cornwall at St. Mawgan in Pydar or Mawgan. St. Mawgan claims its name from Mawgan, a Brythonic saint who flourished in the 5th or 6th century. Little is known about the saint and many believe that the saint is one in the same as Meugan who was listed as a saint about the same time in Wales. As far as the place name is concerned, the earliest record of the place was as "Sanctus Mawan" in the Domesday Book of 1086. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
St Mawgan Monastery was an ancient monastery located here and was known to have been well established by the time of the Conquest. Mawgan-in-Meneage is a civil parish also found in Cornwall.

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MacHgan Spelling Variations


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MacHgan Spelling Variations



Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Maugham, Maughan, Mawgam and others.

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MacHgan Early History


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MacHgan Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacHgan research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacHgan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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MacHgan Early Notables (pre 1700)


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MacHgan Early Notables (pre 1700)



More information is included under the topic Early MacHgan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name MacHgan: Daniel, George, Peter, William and William Maughan who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860; Peter Maughen arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1848..

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MacHgan Family Crest Products


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MacHgan Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  2. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  3. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  4. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  10. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The MacHgan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The MacHgan Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 24 October 2014 at 08:57.

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