This is an Irish surname. Recorded in more than fifteen recorded spelling forms including McGaugan, McGuigan, McGookin, McGoogan, and McQuiggan, and often without a "Mc" prefix at all, however spelt all nameholders belong ultimately to the clan MacGuigan. This clan originated from the counties of Armagh and Tyrone in Ulster. The first form of the name was believed to be as "MacUigin" meaning the son of the fair haired one, which would indicate a possible pre 9th century Norse-Viking background. Although early Irish records can be patchy, many having suffered destruction through war and civil war, this is a surname which does appear throughout the country's post medieval history although there are only about two thousand five hundred members. Examples of recordings include those of Thomas MacGuiggen who appears in the lant charters of County Tyrone in 1601, whilst at much the sametime Conor MacGuyne, an early exotic spelling, was one of the officers of O'Donnells army in 1602, and it is thought that he escaped to France after the defeat at Kinsale. William MacGuckin, later Baron Slane, was born in Antrim in 1837, whilst Patrick McGookin was an early Famine emigrant leaving for New York on the ship "Devonshire" on April 10th 1846. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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