Recorded in several spelling forms including Gaughan, Gavan, Gavagan, Gavaghan, Gavahan, and Gahan, this notable surname is Irish. Originally it was exclusive to the province of Connacht. The derivation is from the pre 10th century Old Gaelic "O'Gaibhtheachain", meaning the descendant of Gaibhtheachan, a male give name translating as fierce or dangerous! Traditionally, Irish family names are taken from the first head of the tribe, who was usually an illustrious warrior, which was clearly the case here. The first recorded spelling of this family name is in the ancient population group of Ui Fiachrach, located in north Mayo and Sligo, where they possessed territory in the Crossmolina area of County Mayo...
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