Magoffin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The clans of the ancient Scottish Pictish tribe were the ancestors of the first person to use the name Magoffin. It was name for a metalworker. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Ghobhainn, which means son of the smith. 
Early Origins of the Magoffin family
The surname Magoffin 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 Magoffin family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Magoffin 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 Magoffin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Magoffin Spelling Variations
Scribes in the Middle Ages did not have access to a set of spelling rules. They spelled according to sound, the result was a great number of spelling variations. In various documents, Magoffin has been spelled MacGowan, McGowan, MacGowin, McGowin, MacGowen, McGowen, Gow, Gowan, Gowen, Gowin, MacGavin, McGavin and many more.
Early Notables of the Magoffin 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 Magoffin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Magoffin family to Ireland
Some of the Magoffin 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 Magoffin family
The cruelties suffered under the new government forced many to leave their ancient homeland for the freedom of the North American colonies. Those who arrived safely found land, freedom, and opportunity for the taking. These hardy settlers gave their strength and perseverance to the young nations that would become the United States and Canada. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name Magoffin: 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.
Contemporary Notables of the name Magoffin (post 1700) +
- Kristin Magoffin, American art department coordinator who worked in 10 episodes of Freddy's Nightmares (1989-1990)
- Amanda Magoffin, American actress, known for recurring role as Jessica Daies in The Hunger (2008)
- Beriah Magoffin (1815-1885), American politician, 21st Governor of Kentucky (1859-1862); he sympathized with the Confederate cause during the Civil War but after the war, encouraged acceptance of the Union victory and passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, eponym of Magoffin County, Kentucky
- Morton D. Magoffin, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories
- Steven James "Steve" Magoffin (b. 1979), Australian cricketer
- George Magoffin Humphrey (1890-1970), American politician, who was the Secretary of the Treasury (1953-1957)
Related Stories +
The Magoffin 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