This long-established surname, widespread in Scotland and Northern Ireland, is an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic personal name "Sluaghadhan", leader of a military expedition, from "sluaghadh", expedition, raid. The Chronicles of the Picts (inhabitants of North East Scotland) tells us that one Sluagadach went forth to Rome circa 966, and circa 1128; Slogadadh was the name of a leader of the bishop of St. Andrew's host. In the process of Anglicization "Sluaghadh(an)" has acquired many variant forms including: Sloan, Sloane, Slo(y)ne, Slowan, Sloyan, Slowey and Slo(e)y, the latter two examples are more specifically from "O'Sluaghaidh", descendant of Sluaghadh.Many references to these names appear in ancient annals of Ireland prior to the year 1200, but are very infrequent until the 17th Century. Among the earliest recorded namebearers in Scotland are William Slowane, who held a tenement near Dalkeith, Midlothian, in 1504, and John Sloane, who had legal possession of land in the parish of Traquair, Peeblesshire, in 1565. The 1659 Petty's "Census" of all Ireland lists Slowan as one of the most numerous names in the barony of Newry, County Down, and in February 1769, the marriage of Ann Sloan to Samuel Spencer was recorded at Lisburn, County Antrim. A Coat of Arms granted to the Sloan family depicts a red lion rampant, crowned with a gold antique crown, on a silver shield, the Crest being an eagle displayed proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Maelpatrick O'Sluaghadhaigh, or O'Sluaghaidh, which was dated 1015, in the "Annals of the Four Masters", during the reign of Malachy 11, High King of Ireland, 1014 - 1019. 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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