McGafin was a name for a metalworker. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Ghobhainn,
which means son of the smith. CITATION[CLOSE]
Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
Early Origins of the McGafin family
The surname McGafin was first found in Inverness-shire
(Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Nis) divided between the present day Scottish Council Areas of Highland and Western Isles, and consisting of a large northern mainland area and various island areas off the west coast, the shire was anciently both a Pictish and Norwegian stronghold, where the name is from the Gaelic 'Govha' meaning 'a blacksmith' and as such could have been a name that applied to people throughout Scotland
. However, as in the case of clans like the Fletchers or Clarks, eventually the name became attributed to a specific area or region. As such, The Clan
was also located in Nithsfield in the 12th century, and recorded as a Border Clan
. To the west in Elgin and Galloway
they were known as the MacGavins.
Early History of the McGafin family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGafin research.Another 158 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1396, 1613, 1698, 1725 and are included under the topic Early McGafin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McGafin Spelling Variations
During the Middle Ages, there was no basic set of rules and scribes wrote according to sound. The correct spelling of Scottish names were further compromised after many haphazard translations from Gaelic to English and back. Spelling variations
of the name McGafin include MacGowan, McGowan, MacGowin, McGowin, MacGowen, McGowen, Gow, Gowan, Gowen, Gowin, MacGavin, McGavin and many more.
Early Notables of the McGafin family (pre 1700)
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGafin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McGafin family to Ireland
Some of the McGafin family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 99 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McGafin family to the New World and Oceana
Scots left their country by the thousands to travel to Australia
and North America. Desperate for freedom and an opportunity to fend for themselves, many paid huge fees and suffered under terrible conditions on long voyages. Still, for those who made the trip, freedom and opportunity awaited. In North America, many fought their old English oppressors in the American War of Independence
. In recent years, Scottish heritage has been an increasingly important topic, as Clan
societies and other organizations have renewed people's interest in their history. An examination of passenger and immigration lists shows many early settlers bearing the name of McGafin: Thomas Gowen who settled in Virginia in 1635; James Gowen settled in Annapolis in 1729; Duncan Gowan settled in Barbados in 1745; John and Walter Gow arrived in New York in 1820.
The McGafin Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Juncta arma decori
Motto Translation: Arms united to merit.