This interesting name is a variant of "Meehan", itself the Anglicized form of "O" Miadhachan", (O, meaning "male descendant of") from the personal name "Miadhach", honourable. This name is the name of an Irish sept belonging to Co. Leitrim, which is said to be of the same stock as the McCarthys of South Munster, who had by the end of the 12th Century migrated to Leitrim. (A place called Ballyaghmeehin or Ballymeighan is found in Rossinver, Co. Leitrim). A metal case containing a manuscript of St. Molaise of Devenish who lived in the 6th Century, was preserved by generations of O' Meechans for over a thousand years and is now in the National Museum of Ireland. Thomas and Denis O' Miachan (O'Meehan) were successive bishops of Achonry (Sligo) between 1251 - 1285. Two of the sept distinguished themselves in France: Count James Anthony Mehegan (1719 - 1792) as a soldier, and his brother Chevalier William Alexander Mehegan (1721 - 1766) as a writer Margaretta, daughter of Thomas and Maria Meechan was christened on February 1st 1807 at St. Marylebone, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edru O' Meighan, which was dated 1152, held the see of Meath and attended the Council of Kells, during the reign of King Turlough Mor O' Connor, High King of Ireland, (1119 - 1156). 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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