Show ContentsMagan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Magan originally appeared in Gaelic as "O Miadhachain," which is derived from the word miadhach, meaning honorable. [1]

Early Origins of the Magan family

The surname Magan was first found in County Leitrim (Irish: Liatroim) anciently the western half of the kingdom of Breifne, located in Northeastern Ireland, in Leinster province, Originally, "Ó Miadhacháin, this is the name of at least two distinct septs; it is now equally distributed throughout the four provinces." [2]

Early History of the Magan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Magan research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early Magan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Magan Spelling Variations

A name was often recorded during the Middle Ages under several different spelling variations during the life of its bearer because literacy was rare there was no real push to clearly define any of the languages found in the British Isles at that time. Variations found of the name Magan include Meighan, Meehan, Meegin, Meeghen, Meegan, Meakin, Meakins, Mekins, Mehan, Mehen, Mehigan, Mehegan, O'Meighan, O'Meehan and many more.

Early Notables of the Magan family

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

United States Magan migration to the United States +

In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Magan family came to North America quite early:

Magan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Magan, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766 [3]
Magan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Leon Magan, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1803 [3]
  • David Magan, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [3]
  • Seragh Magan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [3]
  • Agnus Magan, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [3]
  • Miss Catherine Magan, aged 17, Irish settler who arrived in New York in 1846 aboard the ship "Stephen Whitney"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Magan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Magan Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Mr. James Magan, (b. 1772), aged 21, Irish baker who was convicted in Armagh, Ireland for life for highway robbery, transported aboard the "Boddingtons" on 15th February 1793, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Magan (post 1700) +

  • Francis Magan (1774-1843), Irish member of the Society of United Irishmen, barrister and informer of the whereabouts of Lord Edward Fitzgerald
  • Ruán Magan, Irish IFTA Award winning director of documentaries and drama-documentaries
  • George Magan (b. 1895), Irish Gaelic footballer
  • George Morgan Magan (b. 1945), Baron Magan of Castletown Irish businessman and Conservative Member of the House of Lords
  • Manchán Magan, Irish writer, traveller and television maker

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  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)
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th October 2020). Retrieved from on Facebook