Origin of the Name Colgan
The ancient history of the name Colgan
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
Variants of the name Colgan
include McColgan and O'Colgan. These names are derived from the Gaelic MacColgan sept that was located in Counties Derry and Offaly.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. Irish septs and clans that are related often belong to even larger groups, sometimes called tribes.
O'Colgan was Lord of a territory in the barony of Tirkeeran, County Derry, where they were erenaghs of Donaghmore in Inishowen. In the course of time these O'Colgans became McColgans, influenced by the fact that the more important sept, located in Offaly was McColgan. The ancient text 'The Four Masters' has references to these names as early as the year 1212. The Rev. John Colgan, 1658, was a Franciscan Friar and Professor of Theology at Louvian and author of 'Acta Sanctorium Hiberniae'. In modern times the name is found chiefly in north Ulster and Offaly.
The Colgan coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Colgan descendants.