Origin of the Name MacGowan
The origin of the name MacGowan
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 McGowan
include McGowen, O'Gowan, McGuane, Smith, Going, Gowen, Mageown and Geon. This Irish surname is hidden under the synonym Smith, which in Gaelic is 'Mac an Ghabhain', meaning 'son of the smith'. They were one of the principal septs of Breffney, their territory being in County Leitrim and the North-West Counties of Donegal and Sligo. A very prominent member of this family in County Cavan has changed his name back to O'Gowan. The town of Ballygowan still exists in County Down. Two McGowans have distinguished themselves abroad. Samuel McGowan, 1819-1897, was a jurist and confederate soldier in America. In New Zealand, James McGowan, 1841-1912, was a Statesman. The variants Going and Gowen are recorded in the Fermoy area. Mageown and Geon are synonyms of McGowan and McGeown that are mostly found in the County Down area.
The MacGowan 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 MacGowan descendants.