The Clan/Sept History
The MacGovern surname was originally the Irish Gaelic Mag Shamhrain, which is
derived from the word "samhra," meaning "summer."
Just like the English language, the Gaelic language of Ireland was not
standardized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, one's name was often recorded under
several different spellings during the life of its bearer. Spelling variations
revealed in the search for the Origins of the MacGovern family name include
MacGovern, Magauran, MacGoveran, MacGoverin and others.
First found in county Cavan.
Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century.
For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common.
Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America.
Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived,
were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United
States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers
occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as
construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration
lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name MacGovern: Daniel MacGoveran,
who settled in Philadelphia in 1840; Andrew, Bernard, Edward, James, John,
Michael, Patrick, Peter, Terry, Thomas MacGovern all arrived in Philadelphia
between 1840 and 1860.
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