Meaghan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Meaghan originally appeared in Gaelic as "O Miadhachain," which is derived from the word miadhach, meaning honorable. [1]

Early Origins of the Meaghan family

The surname Meaghan was first found in County Leitrim (Irish: Liatroim) anciently the western half of the kingdom of Breifne, located in Northeastern Ireland, in Leinster province, Originally, "Ó Miadhacháin, this is the name of at least two distinct septs; it is now equally distributed throughout the four provinces." [2]

Early History of the Meaghan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Meaghan research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 117 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Meaghan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Meaghan 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 Meaghan family name. Variations found include Meighan, Meehan, Meegin, Meeghen, Meegan, Meakin, Meakins, Mekins, Mehan, Mehen, Mehigan, Mehegan, O'Meighan, O'Meehan and many more.

Early Notables of the Meaghan family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Meaghan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Canada Meaghan migration to Canada +

To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Meaghan or a variant listed above, including:

Meaghan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ellen Meaghan, aged 22, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Maria" from Cork, Ireland

Australia Meaghan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Meaghan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Judith Meaghan, aged 38, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Surge" [3]
  • Judy Meaghan, aged 24, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Sea Park"

Contemporary Notables of the name Meaghan (post 1700) +

  • James J. Meaghan, American politician, Mayor of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1960 [4]
  • Meaghan Simister (b. 1986), Canadian Olympic luger who has competed since 2003 and later in the 2006 Winter Olympics
  • Meaghan Rath (b. 1986), Canadian film and television actress
  • Meaghan Sittler (b. 1976), Canadian ice hockey player from Mississauga, Ontario, daughter of Darryl Sittler
  • Meaghan Delahunt (b. 1961), Australian-born, Scottish novelist


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  3. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SURGE 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/surge1852.shtml
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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