Recorded as Faraghan, Faragan, Faughnan, Faughey, and possibly others, this is an Irish surname of great antiquity. It originates from the pre 10th century Gaelic O' Fachtnain which appears to translate literally as 'The male descendant of the merchant,' from 'fachta' meaning to obtain. However there are a number of possible interpretations, and none of the dictionaries seem to offer an explanation. The surname was popular in the counties of Leitrim and Longford in the 17th century where the spelling was either with the prefix O' or Mc, and the most popular form seems to have been as Faghny. In truth though spelling in the past was so erratic, that it is often difficult to distinguish what the name was intended to be! In this case the records for the year 1588 show that Gillernew O' Faghny or M' Faghny of County Longford, esq, captain and chief of the territory of Calloe, was granted all manors, castles, lands and services, within that region. A later more modern recording is that of James Faughnan of Carrick on Suir on August 14th 1864.
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