McGaffigend History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Many variations of the name McGaffigend 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 McGaffigend family
The surname McGaffigend 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 McGaffigend family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGaffigend research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1689, 1640, 1679 and 1929 are included under the topic Early McGaffigend History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McGaffigend Spelling Variations
Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name McGaffigend dating from that time include Gavigan, Gavin, Gavihan, Gavahan, Gavan, Gavagain, Gavagan, Gaven, Gavin, Gavighan and many more.
Early Notables of the McGaffigend family (pre 1700)
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGaffigend Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McGaffigend family
The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute due to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United States and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the McGaffigend family relocated to North American shores quite early: 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.
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- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print