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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


When the Strongbownian's arrived in Ireland there was already a system for creating patronymic names in place. Therefore, the native population regarded many of the Anglo-Norman naming practices that these settlers were accustomed to as rather unusual. Despite their differences, the two different systems eventually merged together rather insidiously. The Strongbownians, when they arrived, displayed a preference for used nickname surnames. Two of the most prevalent forms were oath nicknames and imperative names. Oath names often carried blessings or were formed from habitual expressions. Imperative names, formed from a verb added to a noun or an adverb, metaphorically described the bearer's occupations. The nick name surname Woigan is derived from a nickname for a person who wore a habitual expression of discontent or unhappiness. The surname Woigan is derived from the Welsh word gwgan, which is a diminutive of gwg, which means frown or scowl. The Gaelic form of the surname is Ugán.

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The surname Woigan was first found in Pembrokeshire in southern Wales. However, it is believed that they were descended from Gwrgyn, the Lord of Bryn in the county of Denbigh in north Wales. Very early in the family's history, an important branch were granted lands by Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke, in his invasion of Ireland in 1172 and thus began the dual country origins of the name. The progenitor of the family is believed to be Gwgan Ap, Lord of Brecknock, one of whose descendants married the heiress of Wiston, who was a descendant of Wizo the Fleming, Lord of Daugleddy.

During an investigation of the origin of each name, it was found that church officials and medieval scribes spelled many surnames as they sounded. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, a name could be spelt numerous ways. Some of the spelling variations for the name Woigan include Vogan, Wogan, Vogin, Vogen, Voggan, Woggan, Woggin, Woggen, Woggon, Voggon, Voygan, Voigan, Woigan, Woiggan, Wogand, Vogand, Vogant, Wogant, Woggant and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Woigan research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1542, 1448, 1542, 1556, 1543, 1554, 1588, 1644, 1621, 1622, 1625, 1629, 1640, 1644, 1620, 1625, 1648, 1649, 1702, 1672, 1638, 1708, 1679, 1685, 1700, 1681, 1685, 1678, 1758, 1317, 1321, 1295, 1313, 1317, 1650, 1716 and 1654 are included under the topic Early Woigan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 367 words (26 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Woigan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Woigan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 303 words (22 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the 1840s, Ireland experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Woigan: David, James, and John Vogan arrived in Philadelphia in 1858; Patrick Wogan arrived in New York State in 1804; George Wogan settled in Virginia in 1663.

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  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-005-8).
  3. Rowlands, John, John Rowlands and Sheila Rowlands. Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1999. Print. (ISBN 080631620).
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  6. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  7. Bradsley C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print.
  8. Evans, Gwynfor. Wales: A History: 2000 Years of Welsh History. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-120-2).
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  11. ...

The Woigan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Woigan 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 1 February 2016 at 13:33.

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