Recording in the spellings of Dargan, Dorgan, Dorgon and Durgan, this is an Irish surname. It is an anglicized form of the Olde Gaelic O'Deargain. The Gaelic prefix "O", indicates "male descendant of", plus the personal byname Deargain, from "dearg", meaning red, and originally given as a nickname to one with auburn hair or a ruddy complexion. The spelling Dargan is most wide-spread in the province of Leinster, whereas the form Durgan has long been associated with the midland counties. Dorgan is confined almost exclusively to County Cork where the place Ballydorgan in that county is named after the sept, the first element coming from the Gaelic "baile", a town.Interesting namebearers were William Dargan (1799 - 1867), the chief builder of Irish railways and promoter of the Dublin International Industrial Exhibition of 1853, and Edmund Strother Dargan (1809 - 1879), the noted Irish-American judge. Pat Dargan, aged twenty three, who embarked from Liverpool on the ship "Rochester" bound for New York on May 8th 1846 was a famine immigrant into that city. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Debora Dorgin christened, which was dated December 27th 1711 in St. John's Church, Limerick, during the reign of Queen Anne of England, 1702 - 1714. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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