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Surname O'Gowan - Meaning and Origin

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O'Gowan: What does the surname O'Gowan mean?

The last name O'Gowan is derived from a combination of two Gaelic words: "O" meaning "descended from" and "Gobhan," which can be translated to mean "a smith." This indicates that the people who first carried the name likely descended from a person who worked in the traditional Irish trade of blacksmithing.

The O'Gowans were a part of a large family of Irish clans known as the Uí Echach Cobo, which was often divided up into various subkingdoms located in the modern-day counties of Armagh, Tyrone, Londonderry, Fermanagh, and Donegal.

The family's clashes with its neighbors during the medieval period resulted in periods of political unrest. As a result, many members of the O'Gowan family emigrated during the 16th and 17th centuries in order to escape the political unrest and seek a better life. Many of these emigrants settled in North America, bringing the O'Gowan name with them.

Today, the O'Gowan family continues to thrive. There are still a few people who carry this surname in Ireland, while there are considerably more O'Gowans found in the United Kingdom and the United States. Many carriers of the name often proudly display their Irish heritage and are proud to be an important part of a long and distinguished family history.

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O'Gowan: Where does the name O'Gowan come from?

The surname O'Gowan is still relatively common today, particularly in Ireland. The name is derived from the Gaelic name "O'Gabhann", which is an anglicised form of the phrase "magh gamhnach—which means "plain of the smiths."

The name is used in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in various forms. O'Gowan and Gowan are among the most commonly used variants.

In Northern Ireland, O'Gowan is particularly common in counties such as Antrim, Fermanagh, Derry, and Tyrone. In some areas, such as Derry, O'Gowan can be found in large numbers, likely a result of the 1609 plantation of Ulster.

The Republic of Ireland is also home to several O'Gowan families, particularly in the southern region. According to the Irish census of 2002, O'Gowan is the 102nd most common surname in Ireland.

In the United States, the surname O'Gowan is not as common as it is in Ireland, but is also found in various states. The US census of 2000 reported that O'Gowan was the 7,867th most common surname in the US.

The last name O'Gowan is still widely used today, especially in Ireland. It is common in some areas of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and is also found in various parts of the United States.

Variations of the surname O'Gowan

O'Gowan is a surname that has many variations in spelling, as well as various names from the same origin.

The most common variants and surnames associated with the O'Gowan name are: Goulden, Gowen, Owen, O'Gowen, Goughan, Goughon, Goun, and Gohon. Common spellings with similar pronunciations include: Goughan, Gowin, Gowing, and Goughon.

The first spelling, O'Gowan, is an Irish Gaelic name with the prefix ‘O’ indicating ‘son of’. Because of the spelling customs during the Gaelic period, there is no fixed form of the name. The variations of the name can be attributed to the existing Irish dialects or English translations of the original Gaelic name.

The other surnames and spellings mentioned above are derived from many other languages. For example, Goulden is from Old English which would have been the language of the early Anglo-Saxon settlers in Ireland. Gowen is from Old Norman French and Gowin from Welsh. The name Owen is often found as a form of the original Irish name, but is mostly found in the South Wales region of the United Kingdom.

No matter the spelling, all the variations are used to identify someone of Irish descent, with the O'Gowan combination being the oldest form.

Famous people with the name O'Gowan

  • Anthony O'Gowan: Former chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland
  • Chris O'Gowan: Professional basketball player
  • Donal O'Gowan: Retired Irish journalist
  • Eddie O'Gowan: American professional basketball player
  • Eugene O'Gowan: Irish actor
  • Fergus O'Gowan: Irish composer
  • Gerry O'Gowan: Former Irish politician
  • Ian O'Gowan: Former Irish politician
  • James O'Gowan: Irish-American historian and writer
  • John O'Gowan: American actor
  • Kathryn O'Gowan: Former president of the Irish Pharmacy Union
  • Kevin O’Gowan: Former Irish soil scientist
  • Larry O'Gowan: Former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Mark O'Gowan: Former Northern Irish politician
  • Maurice O'Gowan: Irish singer and songwriter
  • Patrick O'Gowan: Irish-American businessman and philanthropist
  • Rory O'Gowan: Former Irish fighter pilot
  • Sean O'Gowan- Irish-American financial manager
  • Teresa O'Gowan: Irish linguist and scholar
  • Thomas O'Gowan: Former Irish politician

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