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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Irish McGugan family come from? What is the Irish McGugan family crest and coat of arms? When did the McGugan family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McGugan family history?

The McGugan surname appeared in Gaelic as Mag Uiginn, which is probably derived from a Norse forename. The name is usually pronounced as "McGwiggen" in it's homeland County Tyrone (especially around Omagh).


Many spelling variations of the surname McGugan can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include MacGuigan, MacGoogan, MacGougan,MacGookin, MacGuckin, MacGugan, MacQuiggan, MacWiggin, MacGucken, MacGuckian, MacGuiggan, MacGuighan and many more.

First found in County Tyrone (Irish:Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster, central Northern Ireland, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGugan research. Another 141 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1800, 1616 and 1659 are included under the topic Early McGugan History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 23 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGugan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the McGugan name:

McGugan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Daniel McGugan, aged 30, arrived in North Carolina in 1812


  • Lewis Shay McGugan (b. 1988), English footballer
  • Stuart McGugan (b. 1944), Scottish actor known for his work on It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1974), Hamish Macbeth (1995) and Some Kind of Life (1995)
  • Irene McGugan (b. 1952), Scottish politician, Member of the Scottish Parliament for North East Scotland (1999-2003)
  • Malcolm McGugan (1846-1937), Canadian farmer and politician who represented Middlesex South in the Canadian House of Commons from 1896 to 1904
  • Jackie McGugan (b. 1939), Scottish former footballer, member of the St. Mirren team that won the 1959 Scottish Cup Final
  • Mr. Donald Mcgugan, English Trimmer from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Walter Mcgugan (d. 1915), English Trimmer from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Brian Knox McGugan, Canadian actor and director, known for his work on Madness (2014), Motifs and Repetitions (1997) and The Mayor's Corpse


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: Semper patriae servire presto
Motto Translation: Always ready to serve my country


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  1. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  2. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  3. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  5. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  7. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The McGugan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McGugan Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 13 March 2015 at 08:43.

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