Show ContentsMcCaughan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

There are multitude of rich histories underlying the many Irish surnames in use today. The name McCaughan originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac Gafraidh. Gafraidh or Gothraidh equates with the English personal name Godfrey. Variations that start with the prefix Mac or Mc mean son of Godfrey.

Early Origins of the McCaughan family

The surname McCaughan was first found in County Fermanagh (Irish: Fear Manach) in the southwestern part of Northern Ireland, Province of Ulster, where they held a family seat at Ballymacaffrey near Five mile Town in Fermanagh near the Tyrone border. [1]

Early History of the McCaughan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCaughan research. Another 51 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 198 and 1987 are included under the topic Early McCaughan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McCaughan Spelling Variations

Numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name McCaughan family name. Before widespread literacy, a person entrusted the proper documentation of his name to the individual scribe. As a result, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Variations found include MacCaffery, MacCaffrey, MacCafferty, MacAffery, MacAffry, MacAfferty, MacGoffrey, MacGodfrey and many more.

Early Notables of the McCaughan family (pre 1700)

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

United States McCaughan migration to the United States +

Ireland, as an English-controlled colony in the 19th century, suffered the loss of hundreds of thousands of its native people. The system of land ownership often did not sufficiently provide for the tenants who farmed the land. This was most clearly evidenced in the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. Previous years of great demand for grain products and livestock had run the land down. Many landowners foreseeing an upcoming crisis often removed families from the land or forced them to rely on pitifully small plots where only a subsistence living could be made. When the famines of 1845, 46, and 48 hit, many had nothing. Disease and starvation became widespread and families boarded ships for elsewhere any way they could. Those who went to America were instrumental in developing the industrial power known today: many Irish were employed in hard labor positions in factories and in building the bridges, canals, roads, and railways necessary for a strong industrial nation. Research of early immigration and passenger lists has shown that many bearers of the name McCaughan:

McCaughan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander McCaughan, who landed in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania in 1839 [2]
  • More. McCaughan, aged 40, who settled in America from Ireland, in 1892
  • W. J. McCaughan, aged 35, who immigrated to the United States, in 1896
McCaughan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • McCaughan, who landed in America from Antrim, in 1903
  • James McCaughan, aged 45, who settled in America from Antrim, in 1903
  • Mary McCaughan, aged 22, who landed in America from Antrim, in 1904
  • Samuel McCaughan, aged 25, who settled in America from Antrim, in 1905
  • George McCaughan, aged 18, who immigrated to the United States from Antrim, in 1906
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name McCaughan (post 1700) +

  • Charles McCaughan, American actor and director, known for V.I. Warshawski (1991) and The Bostonians (1984)
  • Chris McCaughan (b. 1977), American guitarist and vocalist in the band The Lawrence Arms
  • Ralph "Mac" McCaughan (b. 1967), American founding member of the rock band Superchunk, and co-founder of Merge Records

  1. MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook