Origin of the Name MacGovern
family history 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 McGovern
include McGoveran, McGowran and Magauran. These names are derived from the Gaelic Mag Shamhrain sept that was located in County Cavan. The town of Ballymagauran that still exists testifies to their long association with this area. This sept name is taken from the Gaelic word 'samhra' meaning 'summer'.
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.
Their ancestor was Samhradhan who lived circa 1100, at the time surnames came into being. He was descended from Eochaidh, eighth century, and their territory was called Teallach Eochaidh, now Tullyhaw, in north-west Cavan. The leading family of the sept were allied by marriage to the Maguires, O'Rourkes and other powerful families and are mentioned in the 'Annals of the Four Masters' from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries. The town of Ballymagauran was burned to the ground by Maguire in the year 1481 for an allegedly dishonourable act by the Magauran of the day. In modern times the name McGovern and it variants are still well represented in the Cavan area.
The MacGovern 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 MacGovern descendants.