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The Goggin Name

The origin and history of the Goggin Surname


History of the Goggin name

This dissertation on the history of the Goggin name was kindly made available by Ciaran Goggins and should not be copied or reproduced without permission.

John de Cogan gave twenty acres of land and two of mead to St.Augustine’s, Bristol, the gift being confirmed by William, Earl of Gloucester.  A probable date for this would be 1149.  John de Cogan married Princess Gledewis daughter of Princess Nesta Tewdwr and Gerald de Windsor.  Gerald’s mother was Gladys daughter of Llewellyn King of Powys.  The de Cogan’s held two knights fees in the manor of Cogan, Glamorganshire. 

In 1166 it is recorded that Miles de Cogan held two fees under William, Earl of Gloucester.  An early reference to the family in Glamorgan charters is to William de Cogan son of Miles who witnessed a grant to Margam Abbey, dated before 1185. 

John de Cogan and Princess Gledewis had three sons, Miles Richard and Geoffrey.  In 1169 Miles and Richard went with their relations the de Barrys, de Carews and FitzGeralds to participate in the conquest of Ireland under Richard "Strongbow" FitzGilbert de Clare. 


The author of "Expugnatio Hibernia", Gerald de Barry, wrote that Miles was "one of the first to come over and foremost amongst the brave".  Of Richard he said he was "a worthy son of the same name".  Both brothers distinguished themselves in the defence of Dublin in 1171.  Although massively outnumbered they defeated two armies.  The leader of the Viking army, Hafscull MacTurkill personally surrendered to Richard de Cogan.  Richards' brother in law, Walther de Riddlesford personally slew John the Mad, a berserker.  MacTurkill had tried to escape but was captured at the slob before he could get to his ship. 


Miles de Cogan was recalled to England by King Henry II with two or three others.  In 1111 the de Cogan brothers Miles and Richard along with a large force of Normans invaded Connaught.  It was not a success and the Normans turned back to Dublin.  Roderic O'Connor whose army had been one of those beaten at Dublin blinded his son for siding with the Normans. 


Besides having a son, William, Miles also had a daughter, Eleanor.  She married Sir Humfrey de Valois in 1179.  Their son Hamo married Nesta-Ann daughter of William le Poer. 


The youngest of the de Cogan brothers, Geoffrey, is only mentioned once.  He arrived in Ireland in 1180 and was killed in an affray by Fineen McCarthy, in Cork.  His death was avenged by a FitzGerald. 


In 1183 Miles de Cogan was travelling through Co. Waterford with his son in law by his second marriage.  Both he and Ralph FitzStephen who also was his cousin stopped to rest.  Whilst resting they were surprised by an Irish chief, MacTyre and five men who struck them down with axes from behind.  When news of the deed reached Cork the area rose in revolt against the Normans.  In order to quell this trouble King Henry personally recalled Richard de Cogan to England.  Here he was given command of hand picked troops to be used in dangerous situations. 


King John visited Ireland in 1201 and granted to Richard the Kingdom or Desmond (Cos Cork, Kerry and Limerick), jointly with a FitzStephen for service of sixty knights.  There had been no effective settlement of Normans in most of this area. 


Also, in 1207, Philip de Prendergast and Richard de Cogan received extensive grants from the Crown, the former in the district between Cork and In Shannon where the important manor of “Beuver" (Beauvoir) or Carrigaline was afterwards formed, the latter in Muskerry where his descendants long held the Manor of Dundrinan and Carrigaline More.  Dundrinan is to be identified with Castlemore in the Parish of Moviddy on the River Bride in East Muskerry. 


1235 saw the great muster of the feudal host under Maurice FitzGerald to obtain once more the submission of Connaught.  Amongst the leaders expressly named were Richard de Burgh, Hugh de Lacy, Walther de Riddlesford and John de Cogan.  Also there was Gerald de PrendergaSt.  All of these shared in the exploitation of Connaught and nearly all were now or later connected by marriage.  John de Cogan married a daughter of Gerald de Prendergast; John was a cousin of Walther de Riddlesford. 


There were three successive John de Cogans.  The first was son or Richard de Cogan (Miles' brother), the second born in 1243 married Juliana daughter of Gerald FitzMaurice and died before 1216.  The third came of age shortly before February 22, 128I. 


John de Cogan who fought in Connaught in 1235 had four brothers, Geoffrey, Miles, Michael and William.  Miles de Cogan witnessed a grant by Gerald de Prendergast his brother in law, c.  1230, to St.  Thomas' Abbey.  At this time one Fineen MacCarthy started to rise against the Norman invaders, especially the de Courcey family. 


Miles is said to have come to de Courceys' aid and a great defeat and overthrow was given to Fineens' people in which Fineen himself and a great number of the chiefs of Desmond were slain.  By 1240 the de Cogans had penetrated into East Muskerry, the de Prendergasts were forming manors in Kinelea.  A deed dated 1240 which was witnessed by John de Cogan, son of Richard, and Maurice FitzMaurice, his cousin, states that they had come of age. 


John married Mary daughter of Gerald de Prendergast.  Maurice Fitzmaurice married Mathilda, her younger half sister.  There were disputes between these half sisters about their shares of Geralds' lands.  By this marriage the estates of Carrigaline, Beauvoir and many others became de Cogan property.  Richard de Cogan was buried at Carrigaline before it passed to his descendants. 


In 1248 Fineen, son of Dermot MacCarthy of Dundrinan slew Geoffrey de Cogan and did great damage to the English (as the Normans were now called) until he was slain by his uncle Donnell Got MacCarthy and the de Cogans in 1250. 


On October 28, 1251 and March 17, 1252, at Bennear and Douglas Co. Cork Michael de Cogan receives six carucates of land by service of ¼ knights' fee.  (One carucate equalled between 600-720 acres)


John de Cogan II, head of the family in Co. Cork, took part in the Connaught campaign and obtained the southern half of the Barony of Clare.  In 1252 he was granted a market and fair at his manor of Clare in Galway, as well as at Castle Mora (Ballynamona) in Desmond. 


The de Cogans also held from an early period some land in the :Baronies of Leitrim and Longford, Co. Galway, where the patronages of the churches of Portumna, Lickmolassy and Muinter Maelfinnain were given before 1254 by William de Cogan to the Abbey of Dunbrody.  These lands were known as Muinter Maelfinnain, O' Lomain and Cinel.  Feiochin “Maysketh in Kinalegham” where John de Cogan II was also granted a fair in 1252 was probably a place in Cinel Feichin. 


A medieval record shows the following; John de Cogan (II).  Grant of free warden at Kinaleyelm and Thulo, 28 October 1245, and in all his lands in Ireland with markets and fairs at Ardagh, Clare, Maysketh,and More Castle, 10 December 1252.  Wife is heiress of G.  de Prendergast.  Son aged 8 on 8 September 1251.  Manors in Devon surrendered to John II heir of Maud de Balun nee Paynel, 1267. 


Maud Paynel married John de Balun.  They had no issue and she appointed John de Cogan II, her cousin as her heir.  She was of the same family of Faynel who married Miles de Cogan.  Mile’s first wife Christina Paynel was mother of William and Eleanor already mentioned.  The estates Maud owned were Bampton, Uffculme, Huntopill and.  Brauton. 


In 1261 FitzThomas and de Cogan suffered a crushing-defeat at the Battle of Callan, near Kenmare, Co. Kerry.  The Irish, headed by the MacCarthys' decimated the Norman-English army.  In the words of a ballad it made "Cogans' proud daughter a desolate wailer". 


Records for Glamorgan dated 1262 show John de Cogan 11 holding two knights fees as Miles had done in II66.  In 1262 the value of the estate of Cogan in Wales was estimated at £20.  The name Cogan derives from a Welsh word meaning "Bowl" or "Valley”. 


From Jamesons' Scottish Dictionary the word Cuachan or Coggan is given for bowl.  In McLeods and Dewars Gaelic Dictionary is the following;

Thus Gaelic and Welsh are similar in this respect


On 6 December 1264 a quarrel broke out between Maurice FitzMaurice and Maurice FitzGerald against Walther de Burgh, Earl of Ulsterat Castledermot, Co. Kildare.  Maurice FitzMaurice imprisoned Richard de la Rochelle, the Justicar Theobald Butler and John de Cogan II, confining them to the castles of Lea and Dunamase. 


John II returned to England soon after but left again for Ireland on 3 March 1268.  He also travelled to Ireland on 21 August 1274.  John II died on 23 August 1275.  His son and heir was John III born in 1243.  John II was recorded in Somerset and Devon in 1273, attending no doubt to his new estates. 


The Pedigree  of the de Lacy family shows  Nicholas son of Margaret de  Lacy by' John  de  Verdun  marrying  Basilie, daughter  of  John  Cogan  II.  This Nicholas de Verdun was slain in 1271. 


Robert and Peter de Cogan witnessed a grant of the lands of Raynighton to the Abbey of Coldingham in Scotland in1275.  After John II's death in 1275 his position as head of the family was taken by his eldest son John III who was born in 1243.  John III married Juliana FitzMaurice. 


It was by this marriage that the de Cogans' amassed further estates.  By 1290 they already owned Carrigaline, Shandon, Douglas, Moor and Ardagh.  From the FitzMaurice marriage they obtained; Adare, Croom, Urigare, Castleroberts, Athlacca and Green in Co. Limerick.  In England they held Bampton, Uffculme, Huntspill and Brauton in the West Country.  In Wales they had their patrimony, Cogan. 


In 1282 John de Cogan son of Michael de Cogan witnessed a grant at Waterford.  Cogan was also spelt "Cogham", "Cogehame" and “Chogan".  1280 saw Patrick de Cogan ask for a release of venue for ten marks.  On Saturday, 20 October 1285 in Cork Patrick de Cogan asked for visne released for ten marks. 


John de Cogan III died in 1216.  He was succeeded by his son and heir, also John.  John IV was born in 1260 and married Johanna FitzGerald.  Before John IV was sixteen his first son John V was born.  However, John V lived only a few years and died in Ireland on 13 November 1279.  The next eldest son, Thomas, born in 1276 was to become the ancestor of the English Cogans and Coggans. 


John IV attended the Shrewsbury Parliament of 1283 and fought in the Welsh wars.  In 1290 John IV founded the Franciscan friary at Claregalway.  In 1293, John FitzThomas obtained a quit claim from Julian, the widow of John de Cogan III.  The FitzGerald lands in Connaugnt consisted of the Baronies of Corran, Lene and Carbury in Co. Sligo and Kilmaine in  Mayo.  The quit claim meant that the de Cogans could not pursue a claim to the estates. 


During the 1290s' John de Cogan IV did homage for his lands to King Edward I.  Also at this time the freeholder of Castlebar Co Mayo was a de Cogan.  The freehold passed to the de Barrys  in 1333.  The close of the thirteenth century saw Robert de Cogan made Count of Berwick.  In 1296 he held Berwick castle whilst it was besieged by the Soots, unti1 the English arrived.  (His great great grandfather Gerald de Windsor also held a beseiged castle against the Welsh).


John IVs' lands in Somerset and Devon were valued at £20 in 1297.  By 1300 this figure had doubled to £ 40.  His son and heir, Thomas de Cogan was accused of assault at Hackpen Devon on 17, January 1299.  He was overlord of an inquest at Burnham Manor on 22 Ootober,1300.  John IV died on 26,April 1302. 


Thomas de Cogan married Pernell and their son Richard was born in 1299.  In 1302 Edward I decided to record all the names of knights in his realm liable for military service against the Scots.  Thus on 23 February 1302 the names of John de Cogan(IV), Geoffrey and Henry de Cogan (his brothers) and David FritzJohn de Cogan one of his sons were recorded at Morpeth, Northumberland.


It was in the early fourteenth century that the split in the de Cogan famil occurred.  Thomas the elder son received estates in England.  His younger brother David took all the land in Ireland.  Before John IV died he is recorded as having a coat of arms; Lozengy, argent and gules.  His son Thomas used Gules, three lozenges argent.


Thomas died on 20 February 1315, by malicious intoxication or poisoning whilst drunk, at Bampton, Devon.  An inquiry was held on order of King Edward I.  Thomas' son Richard was made a ward of the Bishop of Exeter.


In Ireland, Miles de Cogan, brother of Thomas and David was recorded as holding two knights' fees in Cogan Glamorgan.  The entry for 1314 is the same, as is that for 1317, although the latter is copied.  It was in 1317 that Miles de Cogan was slain with Slemme de Exeterat Athlethan.  Miles was called “the noblest and fairest baron in Ireland" by the Irish whom he always treated with equanimity. 


An uncle of Miles, Henry de Cogan, who was a friar of  the Ordines Minorum founded Dublin University in 1320.  Collins’ “Peerage of Ireland" Volume VI states that Juliana daughter of Lord John de Cogan of Belvoir (Carrigaline) married Maurice FitzGerald.  In 1310 the estates of Carrigaline, Carrigrohan, Castlemore, Mallow in Rathgrogan and many others were claimed by the FitzGeralds.


On 13 July 1356 William de Cogan son of Richard head of the English de Cogans' was acting as Magistrate, a function which many landowners and nobles were obliged to fulfil.  Meanwhile in Ireland in 1359, Walther de Cogan was in Dublin witnessing a grant.  He was David FitzJohns' son and head of the Irish de Cogans.  Cogan was also spelt Cogar on one occasion. 


By the reign of Kina-Richard 11 (1377-1400),William de Cogan had been knighted and made Sheriff of Somerset.  He married Isabella daughter of Richard Wigbeare.  Cuppy in “Homes of British Namess" states "Cogan and Coggan are found in Cambridgeshire (in the thirteenth century and later in the West country, especially Devon and Somerset.  "This shows the areas in which the de Cogans had property. 


In 1425/6 the family was still paying wardsilver (a type of tax) on their home in Wales.  Walther de Cogan of 1359 had two grandsons, Robert and Miles FitzGeoffrey de Cogan.  In 1428 on 4 January at Kilkenny, Maurice FitzJohn de Roche, Lord of Fermoy granted the two brothers "the manors of Moretown, Carrigrohan, Coolmore, Belvoir, Douglas, Shandon and Dundrinan from Awnmore to the sea”. 


The Book of Howth also tells that in Cork on 12 June 1439, eleven years later "Robert FitzGeoffrey de Cogan, Captain of his nation gave to the FitzGeralds Carrigrohan, More, Dundrinan, Rathcogan (now Gogginshill), Newtown Monmor, Mustri-Myttin, Belvoir, Coolmore, Douglas, Shandon, O'Corblethan, Flanluo, Kerrycurrihy, Kinelea, Mustrielyn,Mustricogan and Cogan, Wales.” 


This was to do with the manoeuvrings by the FitzGeralds to gain as much land as possible.  The Book of Howth says "the grantors seal was unknown to many".  This casts doubt on the authenticity of the actions.  However, the transactions went ahead and the de Cogans lost half of their lands in Co. Cork which their ancestors had so laboriously won. 


Also lost was the magnificent castle at Ballynamona, Co. Cork, Castlemore.  It was given to the FitzGeralds.  It was built c.1247. In England, Gilbert Cogan of Huntspill, Somerset, married the daughter of Sir John Perceval who died in 1498.  Note that the "de" has been dropped from Cogan. 


The next entry dealing with the family in Ireland is in the "Ireland Calendar of Chancery Rolls", in December 1539; "David Gangcaughe, son and heir of Thomas M'Shiarie Cogane, son of Miles Cogan granted to William Tirrie a messuage and lands in Kilvourrye and in Ballyurbane near Kilvourrye with the appurtenance in Kerrycurrihy lying between Rathevyne and Dromgorihye on the south and Shanycourt and Ballynvonvilye on the north,  Ballyncarrye on the west and as far as Knockyrunullaghtyne on the east, at the request of Philip Cogan.  Cork, 15 December 1539.


Letter from Robert Lowese to David Gangcaughe Cogane on the preceeding 20 December 1539.


Release made by David G.  Cogane, son of Thomas M'Shiarie to William Tyrrye.  Cork, 20 December, 1539. 


Richard de Cogan of Barnehely, Co. Cork is mentioned in 1539.  At this time the name is beginning to alter.  In 1557, Robert Gogan, a friar, petitioned Queen Elizabeth I.  Another example of the change in spelling is seen in "Calendar papers relating to Ireland 1588­1592".  One mention is of William Cogan, in the County of Kerry, 1586, and under the year 1588 is; "the St. Leger family claims Kerrycurrihy from William Gogan".  There seems some evidence to suggest that these two were in fact the same man. 


Next comes probably one of the most intriguing and interesting incidents in the entire family history.  In May 1589, one Miles Gogan otherwise "Great Gogan" or head of the family was living in the castle of Ballinre, near Carrigaline.  He was an old man and had a daughter who married Cormac Roe MacCarthy, an Irish chief.  Miles also had a son.  Miles' brother was called Shiara Gogan of Kinfinaghee. 


Miles attempted to claim the estate of Kinfinaghes.  One day he sent over MacCarthy to try and get Shiara to relinquish the estate.  After drinking a hogshead (barrel) of wine the two went outside, some distance from the castle of Kinfinaghes.  A quarrel ensued and MacCarthy slit the throat of the old man, Shiara.  A passing pilgrim saw the body in the road and not knowing who it was ran to Kinfinaghes.  Shiara had eight sons.  On hearing of their fathers' death they rode to Ballinre. 


Miles' young son, their cousin, was standig outside unawares of what had happened.  The eight men grabbed him and hanged him from a nearby tree in full view of Miles.  They then stormed Ballinre.  Miles was held captive whilst his fate was decided.


He bribed his gaoler, a servant, and sent word to Lord Barry who decided that he would only help Miles at a high price, 400 cattle.  Eventually the Earl of Desmond, a FitzGerald, retook the castle.  Some of the sons of Shiara were hanged, others were exiled.  A few stayed on small portions of land. 


It was recorded that  “some of the Gogans that are neither kith or kin to these Gogans that are descended from the right house of Great Gogan not respecting of which of the Gogans they derived their supposed estates so as they were named a Gogan of which name there is no small multitude”. 


This meant that an indirect branch of the family had occupied Kinfinaghes.  In 1600 William MacMiles Goggan hung two sons of MacTeig and was himself hanged at Cork. 


The Gogans were recorded as men of name i.e.  importance, in Kinfinages along with the Barry Oges and Fleminges in 1601.  Gogan and Goggin are mentioned as principal families in Ireland in 1605.  The names of two freeholders, Thomas and John Goggane of Ballenvohye (Ballinaboy), Co. Cork are given in 1609. 


It is from the early seventeenth century that Goggin was adopted as the orthography for the family previously known as de Cogan.  The old spelling did not die out.  In 1628 Walther Coppinger married Ellen, daughter of William Cogan of Barnehely, Co. Cork, gentleman. 


The Cogan coat of arms were; Sable, three pine cones argent. 

Gogan is given as Gules three lozenges argent. 


Undoubtedly the worst misfortune to befall the family was the Cromwellian invasion and conquest of Ireland. 


A list of forfeiting proprietors and confiscations in Ireland has the following details for Co. Cork.

 South Liberties.

Piers Gogan

William Gogan


Philip Gogin

Philip Gogin

William Gogin

James Goggin (FitsPhilip)

Helena Goggin alias Barry

William Goggin


William Goggin, Barnehely

Pierce Goggin. 


The resultant troubles caused by the confiscations were supposedly set right on the Monarchys' restoration in 1660.  However, within three decades there was more trouble.  In 1662 the Earl of Orrery changed what he called "the heathenish name of Rathgoggin to  Chaleville, which he thought more euphonious and appropriate to the times". 


In 1673 Williarn Gogin returned from Barbados on the ship “Batchelor" commanded by William Bragg, to Bristol.  The overthrow of the Stuart monarchy in the late 1680s' led to war in Ireland between the Protestants under King William and the Catholics under King James II.  The battle of the Boyne in 1690 saw two Cogans' and a Coggan in the southern regiments of James II.  The troubled seventeenth' century saw many families leave Ireland. 


In the 1630s’ a branch of the Cogans' settled in Coaxdon on the Somerset/Devon border.  They achieved fame by hiding Charles 11 in 1650 whilst he was a fugitive.  Another of the Cogans' left Ireland, but headed towards Belgium.  A family of Cogans' moved to the Dauphine district of France, near Grenoble.  Their arms are; Gules three oak leaves and a crescent argent. 


Throughout the eighteenth century in Ireland the effects of the Penal laws meant that few Goggins' had any property left.  Some though, left wills.  These would probably have been converted to Protestantism. 


In 1805 Ellen Goggin married Henry "Hayfield" Middleton of Asheville North Carolina, who served in the Georgia Engineers.  She was a neice of Sir Henry Pollok.  To return to Belgium.  By 1805 the Nationa1ist movement there had gained momentum.  During the Napoleonic wars Jaques-Andre Coghen, a descendant of the refugee Cogan of 1649 was instrumenta1 in establishing a Belgian government.  For his efforts the Pope made him a Baron.  His armorial bearings are; Parti per pale sinster, Azure a cross or between four mullets of the same.  Dexter -a beehive proper.  In chief sable a demi lion rampant gules.  Supporters ;two greyhounds collared or  Motto; Labore Sine Nihil. 


On 14 March 1770 William Goggin died aged 5, and was buried in St. John’s  graveyard Limerick.  In 1780 Stephen Goggin was recorded as an Attorney in the "Pleas of the Dublin Bebch".  Another Stephen Goggin, a printer of Limerick married Eliza Drew of Scarriff,Co. Clare in May 1809. 


In 1791 at Brompton near Chatham Michael Goggin.  a gunner, was killed whilst the 120 gun "Ville de Paris” was being constructed.  At this time the English Navy often impressed or Press ganged Irishmen to work on ships.  There was a family of Goggins.  living in Cornwall at this date.  Whether this Michael Goggin was Irish or Cornish cannot definately be ascertained.


In 1822 Thomas Goggins was hanged in Cork with sixteen other men in connection with Fenian activities.  There were riots in Cork following the hangings.  A family of Goggins are recorded in Co. Cavan.  The earliest mention of them is in 1825/6.  William Goggins of Corfad Stradone, owned land worth 40 shillings.  He is also recorded on 23, February, 1830 as being in possession of a gun.  David Goggins of Cahoo, Kilmore, Co. Cavan also owned a gun and registered it on 2, July, 1832.  The family were Protestants. 


Old paper

Goggin history

History of the Goggin name by Ciaran Goggins