McGaffigan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Many variations of the name McGaffigan have evolved since the time of its initial creation. In Gaelic it appeared as O Gaibhtheachain, which is derived from the word "gaibhtheach," which means "anxious."
Early Origins of the McGaffigan family
The surname McGaffigan was first found in County Mayo (Irish: Maigh Eo) located on the West coast of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. The Gavigan, Gavin, or Gavahan surname is derived from the Irish Chieftain Gabhadhan who was descended from King Colla da Crioch, one of the three Colla Kings who ruled Ireland and died about 360 A.D.
Interestingly, early Cornish records listed reference to some of the family in the parish of St. Hilary, Cornwall. "Prior to the days of Elizabeth, the barton of Treveneage belonged to an ancient family called Gaverigan, from whom it passed during that reign, with a co-heiress to the Godolphins." 
Early History of the McGaffigan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGaffigan research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1689, 1640, 1679 and 1929 are included under the topic Early McGaffigan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McGaffigan Spelling Variations
Before widespread literacy came to Ireland, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Accordingly, numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name McGaffigan family name. Variations found include Gavigan, Gavin, Gavihan, Gavahan, Gavan, Gavagain, Gavagan, Gaven, Gavin, Gavighan and many more.
Early Notables of the McGaffigan family (pre 1700)
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGaffigan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McGaffigan family
Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name McGaffigan: Daniel Gavin who landed in Virginia in 1654; John Gavin settled in Pennsylvania in 1773; Thomas Gavin settled in Maryland in 1774; James Gaven landed in America in 1690.
|Contemporary Notables of the name McGaffigan (post 1700) ||+|
- Mark Andrew "Patsy" McGaffigan (1888-1940), American Major League Baseball second baseman and shortstop who played for the Philadelphia Phillies in 73 games between 1917 and 1918
- Andrew Joseph "Andy" McGaffigan (b. 1956), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1981 to 1991
- Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print