An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
When Magowan was first used as a surname among the ancient Scottish people, it was a name for a metalworker. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Ghobhainn, which means son of the smith.
The arts of spelling and translation were yet in their infancies when surnames began, so there are an enormous number of spelling variations of the names in early Scottish records. This is a particular problem with Scottish names because of the numerous times a name might have been loosely translated to English from Gaelic and back. Magowan has been spelled 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.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Magowan research. Another 315 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1396, 1613, 1698 and 1725 are included under the topic Early Magowan History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Magowan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Magowan 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.
This oppression forced many Scots to leave their homelands. Most of these chose North America as their destination. Although the journey left many sick and poor, these immigrants were welcomed the hardy with great opportunity. Many of these settlers stood up for their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. More recently, Scots abroad have recovered much of their collective heritage through highland games and other patriotic functions and groups. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has located various settlers bearing the name Magowan:
Magowan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Magowan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Magowan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
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.
The Magowan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Magowan 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 8 April 2016 at 17:17.