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Gahagan (Goaghan, Geoghegan, Goghan, Gaughan) Families and their County Mayo, County Roscommon, Ireland Connections

The Surname Gahagan, as well as Gehegan is a phonetic variation of the Irish Surname Mac Geoghegan. The "Mac" is no longer in use with this surname, but was once a common version.

According to Edward MacLysaght's book "Irish Families their Names, Arms and Origins", the MacGeoghegans were a dominant sept in County Westmeath, "up until the time of Cromwell when they suffered severely through war and confiscation." The military involvement of this sept is significant over the centuries, their estates in Westmeath were large, but by "end of the 17th century the bulk of these vast estates had been confiscated or their owners, who ranked among the leading gentry of the county, outlawed." (MacLysaght, 1972, p. 158-159).

According to a "Special Report on Surnames in Ireland" composed by Sir Robert E Matheson, LL.D, the Geoghegan Surname wasn't in the top 75 principal surnames in Ireland when it was conducted in 1890. According to his birth index chart for the same year, there were 38 entries for the Geoghegan Surname in Ireland (19 in the Province of Leinster, 4 in the Province of Munster, none in Ulster and 15 in the Province of Connaught). Surname Geoghegan was found primarily in Dublin and the County of Galway. He listed the following variations of the Surname Geoghegan: Gagan, Gahagan, Galligan, Gaughan, Gavigan, Geagan, Gegan, Geghan, Gehegan, Geogan, Geoghan, Ghagan, Ghegan, Houghegan and MGuigan. (Matheson, 1982, p. 7, 42, 50).

Although the Surname Goggin is not included in the above mentioned list of variations, I am including Goggins in all of my record collections. I am doing so because many of the priests in the catholic records spell the names phonetically and the Goggin surname is very similar.

Ida Grehan in her book "The Dictionary of Irish Family Names", names the following additional variations as well: Guigan, Macguigan, MacGoogan, MacGookin, MacGuckian, MacWiggan, Meguiggan and Wigan, Figeon and Pidgeon. (Grehan, 2001, p. 230).

In the Griffith's Valuation for County Mayo, the variant Surname Gahagan was noted in Kilcolman Civil Parish and in St. Peter Civil Parish, County Roscommon. The variant Surname Gaughan was more prevalent, noted in the following Civil Parishes in County Mayo: Achill, Addergoole, Attymass, Ballynahaglish, Burrishoole, Crossmolina, Kilbelfad, Kilcommon, Kilfian, Kilgarvan, Killala, Killasser, Kilmore, Kilmoremoy, Oughaval and Toomore. The Surname Gaughan was not present in any Civil Parishes in County Roscommon. The variant surname Geoghegan was present in Aghagower, Castlemore, Crossboyne, Doonfeeny, Kilcolman, Kilmainemore and Kilmore. The variant Surname Geoghegan was present in these County Roscommon Civil Parishes: Cloonfinlough, Cloontuskert, Drum, Fuerty, Kilgeflin, Kilglass, St. Peter, and Tibohine. There were Goaghans in Attymass Civil Parish, County Mayo and Goghans in Doonfeeny and Kilcommon Civil Parish, County Mayo, Ireland. The Surname Goggin was present in four different Townlands in County Mayo, Ballinrobe, Cong, Kilmainemore and Kilconduff. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, County Mayo).

Surname Gahagan (and Variations) Distribution Map for County Mayo, Ireland

Gahagans (and Variations) Identified in County Mayo Griffith's Valuation and their Civil Parish Descriptions

Surname Gahagan (and Variations) in the County Mayo, Ireland Roman Catholic Parish Records
Gahagan's (and Variations) Identified in County Roscommon, Ireland Griffith's Valuation and Civil Parish Descriptions