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

The Maughan history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Maughan history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Maughan family originally lived in the village of Mawgan in Cornwall. The surname Maughan 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.


The surname Maughan 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] 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.

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.


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


More information is included under the topic Early Maughan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Maughan:

Maughan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Daniel, George, Peter, and William Maughan who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
  • Bridget Maughan, aged 53, who settled in America, in 1895
  • Annie Maughan, aged 18, who landed in America, in 1896

Maughan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Edward Maughan, aged 36, who emigrated to America from Ballyhenan, Ireland, in 1906
  • J.M. Maughan, who settled in America, in 1907
  • Barbara Maughan, aged 16, who emigrated to the United States from Choppington, England, in 1910
  • Cuthbert Maughan, aged 34, who emigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1918
  • Harold L. Maughan, aged 27, who landed in America, in 1918

Maughan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Pat. Maughan, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Ascendant"
  • Anne Maughan, aged 25, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "South Sea"


  • Richard J. Maughan, American politician, Justice of Utah State Supreme Court, 1975-81; Chief Justice of Utah State Supreme Court, 1981
  • Brian Maughan (b. 1977), American Republican politician, Political consultant; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oklahoma, 2004
  • Russell Lowell Maughan (1893-1958), American pioneer aviator and U.S. military pilot
  • Rex G. Maughan, American founder, president, and CEO of Forever Living Products
  • Peter Maughan (1811-1871), American early Mormon pioneer in Utah
  • Arthur "Bucky" Maughan, American wrestler, member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame
  • Ariel Leishman Maughan (1923-1997), American professional basketball player
  • Mandell Rosemarie Maughan, English actress, known for her work on Midnight Movie (2008), Prison Break: Proof of Innocence (2006) and Save the Supers (2012)
  • Sharon Patricia Maughan (b. 1950), English actress, known for her work on Holby City (1999), The Bank Job (2008) and She's Out of My League (2010)
  • William John Ryott Maughan (1863-1933), English-born Australian politician



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  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. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  7. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  9. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  10. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  11. ...

The Maughan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Maughan 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 20 May 2016 at 17:25.

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