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


Magoon was first used as a surname among the descendants of the ancient Scottish people known as the Picts. It was a name for a metalworker. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Ghobhainn, which means son of the smith.

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Repeated and inaccurate translation of Scottish names from Gaelic to English and back resulted in a wide variety of spelling variations with single names. Magoon has appeared MacGowan, McGowan, MacGowin, McGowin, MacGowen, McGowen, Gow, Gowan, Gowen, Gowin, MacGavin, McGavin and many more.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Magoon research. Another 315 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1396, 1613, 1698 and 1725 are included under the topic Early Magoon History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Magoon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Magoon family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 187 words (13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many Scottish families suffered enormous hardships and were compelled to leave their country of birth. They traveled to Ireland and Australia, but mostly to the colonies of North America, where many found the freedom and opportunity they sought. It was not without a fight, though, as many were forced to stand up and defend their freedom in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of these Scots abroad have rediscovered their heritage in the last century through the Clan societies and other organizations that have sprung up across North America. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Magoon:

Magoon Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Mrs. Mary A. Magoon, aged 40, who landed in America, in 1904
  • A. Magoon, aged 32, who emigrated to America, in 1905
  • John Magoon, aged 52, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Chas. E. Magoon, who emigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Charles Magoon, aged 37, who landed in America, in 1914


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  • Christian Magoon, American entrepreneur, author, speaker and business executive, CEO of Magoon Capital
  • Seymour "Blue Jaw" Magoon (b. 1908), American hitman in New York's Murder Inc gang
  • Henry Sterling Magoon (1832-1889), American politician, U.S. Representative from Wisconsin (1875-1877)
  • George Henry Magoon (1875-1943), American Major League Baseball infielder who played from 1898 to 1903 for the Brooklyn Bridegrooms and the Chicago White Sox
  • Charles Edward Magoon (1861-1920), American lawyer, judge, diplomat, and administrator, 2nd Provisional Governor of Cuba (1906-1909), 2nd Military Governor of Panama Canal Zone (1905-1906), 3rd United States Minister to Panama (1905-1906)
  • Elias Lyman Magoon (1810-1886), American clergyman and religious writer


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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.

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  1. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  2. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  3. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  4. 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).
  5. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  6. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  7. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  10. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  11. ...

The Magoon Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Magoon 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 3 March 2016 at 09:19.

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