This is a rare Irish surname. Recorded in a number of forms including Drohan, Druhan, Droghan, Drugan, and formerly O'Droughane, it originates from the pre 10th century name O'Druachain. The derivation is from the Gaelic word "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 of Ballincolane, County Waterford, was recorded in 1550 as being a rebel. However he must have changed his ways, because he was granted a royal pardon in 1565. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop," often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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