Various Spellings of
The origin or the surname is from the Gaelic language. In Ireland, the original name was Mac an Ghabhan and in Scotland Mac an Ghobhain, both meaning "son of the smith". These names were later anglicized to McGowan and MacGowan.
Below is a list of various spellings of the surname McGowan which I have come across in my research. In early colonial and state records, especially prior to 1850, the scribes, clerks and other record takers were often only half educated themselves. So when writing the names on records, they usually spelled them the way they sounded, not necessarily the way the name should be spelled. As you can see from the below list of spellings for the name McGowan, I have found more than thirty ways these clerks spelled the name.
McGowan Family History