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The McGugan Surname Project


The purpose of this project is to try to identify links with McGugan families across the world, and to determine if there is a connection between the McGugans and the McNeil or McDonald clans. The family name of McGugan is mainly associated with the Knapdale, Gigha and Kintyre areas of Argyll in Scotland. It is a gaelic name, supposedly derived from Mac Eochagáin or Mac Eoganán, son of Eoganán which is a diminutive of Eogan (formed by adding the ?án? similar to the way that y is used in English). The anglicized version should probably be McEugan, and this is how emigrants to Canada pronounced the name in the 19th century. The problem with this spelling is that it is very similar to the gaelic name Mac Eogan which is anglicized to McEwan. The name Eoganán came to Knapdale and Kintyre with a migration of Scots from Ireland in the 5th and 6th centuries under Fergus, Angus and Lorn, sons of Erc. Fergus? grandson Gabrán occupied the territory that is now Knapdale and Kintyre, while his brother Comgall occupied Cowal which is named after him. Gabrán had two sons, Eoganán and Aedán. Although Eoganán was the older brother, St. Columba chose Aedán as the king based on a dream that he had. According to historians ?Kintyre from the 6th century had been the country of Eoganán son of Gabrán and his descendants.? This is where the McGugan name appears in the 1500?s, however it is impossible to determine if there is any connection. The first appearance of the McGugan family in the history books seems to be in the early 13th century in the person of Gillascoppe Mahohegan or Gillespic mac Eochagan (Archibald McGugan). This Gillascoppe Mahohegan is supposed to have married a great-great-grand daughter of King Duncan II. He was trying to claim the throne of Scotland for his sons (of the race of McWilliam). Duncan II was the oldest son of Malcolm III (who succeeded McBeth) by his first wife. In the 14th and 15th centuries there appears to be no trace of the McGugan family, however this may be due to confusion between the McGugan and McEwan names. The family finally appears in Kintyre in 1541 as tenants of the Duke of Argyll. In 1692 records, Archibald and Donald McGugan are living in North Knapdale and by 1800 there were about 20 families of McGugans living in Knapdale. Members of these families emigrated to the United States (North Carolina) Canada, and Australia. The McGugan spelling seemed to be most common in North Knapdale, while the McGougan



Other surnames in Project

macgugan, McGoogan, McGougan, McGugan

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