Derived from the original pre 10th century Irish O'Druachain and recorded in a variety of anglicised spellings (see below), this is a rare surname however spelt. Perhaps this is not surprising as the derivation is from "Druach", which translates as "the wise one" or "Druid" in Olde English. The precise meaning of the surname is "the descendant of the son of the wise man", which suggests that the original nameholder was a disciple, possibly of St Patrick. The name is recorded in the 1659 Census of Ireland as being in two distinctly separate regions. In County Armagh in Ulster where the spelling is (usually) Drugan or Droogan and in County Waterford where the normal forms are Druhan, Droghan and Drohan.Examples of early recordings include Daniel Drohan, the Vicar Apostalic of Ferns from 1588 to 1624, whilst William and Edward Drogan, aged five and one respectively appear on the passenger list (without parents who are unknown) of the 'Famine' ship 'Roscine of Liverpool' on June 21st 1847, bound for New York. Other recordings include Catharina Dregan of Carlow on October 11th 1868, and Ellen Droogan of Florence Court, Co. Fermanagh on June 18th of the same year. Maurice O'Droughane as shown below, was recorded as being 'a rebel', however he must have become a reformed character, because he was granted 'a royal pardon' in 1565, although his subsequent history is not known. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Maurice O'Droughane, which was dated 1565, of Ballincolane, Co. Waterford, Ireland, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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