Show ContentsMaughan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Maughan family

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.

Early History of the Maughan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Maughan research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Maughan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Maughan Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Maughan family (pre 1700)

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

Maughan Ranking

In the United States, the name Maughan is the 12,379th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

United States Maughan migration to the United States +

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, who 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 immigrated to America from Ballyhenan, Ireland, in 1906
  • J.M. Maughan, who settled in America, in 1907
  • Barbara Maughan, aged 16, who immigrated to the United States from Choppington, England, in 1910
  • Cuthbert Maughan, aged 34, who immigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1918
  • Harold L. Maughan, aged 27, who landed in America, in 1918
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Maughan migration to Australia +

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

Maughan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Pat. Maughan, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Ascendant" [3]
  • Anne Maughan, aged 25, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "South Sea"

New Zealand Maughan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Maughan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Maughan, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Sevilla" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd December 1859 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Maughan (post 1700) +

  • 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
  • Richard J. Maughan, American politician, Justice of Utah State Supreme Court, 1975-81; Chief Justice of Utah State Supreme Court, 1981 [5]
  • Brian Maughan (b. 1977), American Republican politician, Political consultant; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oklahoma, 2004 [5]
  • 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
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The ASCENDANT 1851. Retrieved
  4. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from on Facebook