Recorded as O' Hogan, Hogan, Hoggan, and possibly others, this is a famous Irish surname. It derives from the Old Gaelic name O' hOgain, meaning the male descendant of "Ogan", a nickname which literally translates as "young man". Traditionally, Irish family names were taken from the heads of tribes, revered elders, or from some illustrious warrior, and are usually prefixed by O', as above, or Mac, denoting "son of". The original namebearer, Ogan, was himself descended from the uncle of Brian Boru, High King of Ireland (1002 - 1014). The Hogans were a Dalcassian family; their territory extended over the ancient territory of Thomond comprising most of County Clare with adjacent parts of Counties Limerick and Tipperary. The chief resided in Ardcrony near Nenagh, County Tipperary, and today, the great majority of namebearers belong to that county. There is a place called Ballyhogan in County Clare. Interesting namebearers include: "Galloping Hogan", hero of Sarsfield's destruction of the Williamite siege train at Ballyneety (1691), and John Hogan (1800 - 1858), the Sculptor. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Teag O' hOgain, and dated 1659, in Petty's Census of Ireland. This was during the "reign" of Richard Cromwell, known as "The Lord Protector", 1658 - 1660. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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