The McGofern surname was originally the Irish Gaelic Mag Shamhrain, which is derived from the word "samhra," meaning "summer."
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGofern research.Another 145 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1481, 1410, 1476, 1444, 1476, 1547, 1593, 1587, 1593, 1581 and 1587 are included under the topic Early McGofern History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations
of the surname McGofern that are preserved in archival documents are MacGovern, Magauran, MacGoveran, MacGoverin and others.
left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families
suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia
or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence
. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine
of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the McGofern name: Daniel MacGoveran, who settled in Philadelphia in 1840; Andrew, Bernard, Edward, James, John, Michael, Patrick, Peter, Terry, Thomas MacGovern all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.