This extremely rare and interesting name is a dialectal variant of McGough, and appears to be peculiar to County Durham. McGough, or Gough, formerly pronounced Goch, and now called Goff, is the Anglicization of two distinct Irish septs, 'O'Cuachain', of the Hy Fiachrach group, found generally in County Mayo, and Mag Eothach, which is said to be one of many branches of the MacKeogh sept. However, the great majority of Goughs in Ireland are of Welsh origin, called Coch, who came to Ireland in the 13th Century, and settled mainly in Dublin and Waterford. Coch, is the Welsh for red or ruddy. In County Durham, the first recording of the Magog family began with the marriage of Archibald Magog and Rebecca Simpson on March 24th 1811 at the Worth, and in Sunderland on March 18th 1849, John Dowsey Magog, the son of Francis Magog and Elizabeth Peverley was born. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Goghe, which was dated 1329, Dungarvan, County Waterford, during the reign of King Edward 111, 'The Father of the Navy', 1327-1377. 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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