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Clans Eoghan

Our trees grow strong again
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About us

This project is for Celtic origin surnames that have an etymology derived from the name Eoghan( aka Ewen/Owen ).  Eoghan derived surnames have a multitude of spelling variants that often get confused from anglicization.  By comparing YDNA, we can determine if the dozens of surname variants are connected regardless of spelling.   If your surname is similar to any of the surnames in this project and you suspect Celtic( Gaelic / Welsh ) origins then you are encouraged to participate in this project.  In time, we hope to sort out the etymologies and overlaps for each of the surname variants as they became anglicized.

A secondary goal is to sort out the various Mac/Eoghain clans and septs.  Eoghan was a popular name in the Isles and led to many clans and septs taking the surname.  This project aims to sort out, which Ewen is you, even though anyone with a variant of the Eoghan surname is welcome to join the Clan Ewen Society who just elected a new commander.   I call this project Clans Eoghan instead of Clan Ewen to signify the plurality of origins and the plurality of variant spellings based on the original Gaelic name Eoghan.

The Gaelic name Eoghan translates into modern day English as Owen or Ewen. The name Eoghan may be derived from eo ("yew") and fully translate to Born of the Yew.  It also means Well Born based on the Latinized form of Eugenius.  Mac/Mc is the Gaelic prefix which means "Son of".  Mac Eoghain has been Anglicized as McEwen, McCowan, McKeown, McKeon, McKown, McCown, McCune, McCoun, McCuen, McOwen, McEuen, McQuown, McQueen, McWhan and dozens of other spelling variants.  When the Mac gets dropped( or never added to begin with ), you get the surnames Cowan, Cowen, Keown, Ewing etc.  If "son" is added as a suffix instead of as a Mac prefix, you may get, Owens(on), and Eunson.  If the Welsh prefix of Ab was used instead of Mac, then Ab Owen, becomes Bowen.

Other possible etymologies of surnames that might get confused with Eoghan variants.


The name Eòin is a Gaelic form of John. Mac Eoin often anglicized as (McKeon/McKeown) is thought to have derived, in some cases, from Mac Eoin Bissett, son of John Byset the Elder.
Eoin is indistinguishable from Eoghan surname variants.


The name Còmhghan and its variants ( Còmhan, Comhainn, Còmhain ) is derived from comh ("together") and gan-, gen- ("born"). a.k.a Twins and is frequently associated with the surname Cowan. The name Mac Giolla Còmhghan, translates into English as son of the servant of Comhghain. This generally translates to mean follower of St. Comgan. St. Comgan was the son of Cellach Cualann, brother of St. Caintigerna and uncle of St. Fillan. Mac Giolla Còmhghan is frequently associated with the anglicized surname McElhone.  MacComhghain is indistinguishable from MacEoghain spelling variants, but has not likely been used frequently in the surname era, if at all. 

In Ireland and Scotland, the word for smith, gobha, is found in the surname Gow/Gowan/MacGowan/McGowan. This surname is an Anglicized form of Mac Gobhann (Scottish Gaelic), Mac Gabhann (Irish), meaning "descendant of the smith".  There may be instances where MacCowan( from MacEoghain ) and MacGowan( from MacGobhain ) get confused.  This confusion has yet to reveal it's self in this project's YDNA.  We have seen McGowans match Smiths.

The Irish surname Coyne is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic O'Cadhain, (pronounced O'COYNE) meaning "descendant of Cadhan"; the name Cadhan itself comes from the Irish meaning "wild goose". Bearers of the name Coyne find their home in counties Mayo and Galway in Ireland. The sept is believed to have originated at Partry in Mayo and number among the septs of the Ui Fiachrach Muaidhe.  So far, Coynes haven't matched any Cowans or other MacEoghain variants.
MacEachain is name of Galloway Scotland. The family name McCaughan (pronounced Me Cachan in the old lands; as Me Cawhan in the Americans) is found variously recorded in public and private documents since the eleventh century, and with C, K, and G, of which C predominates, and is the Anglicized phonetic rendering of their Gaelic surname MacEachain, meaning the "son of Eachain".

Quinn is an anglicised form of the Irish Ó Coinn. The latter surname means "descendant of Conn". The surname Quinn is also rendered Ó Cuinn in Irish. The surname is borne by numerous unrelated Irish families in Ulster and the Irish counties of Clare, Longford, and Mayo. The most notable family of the name are that of Thomond, a Dalcassian sept, who derive their surname from Niall Ó Cuinn who was slain at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.

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