The surname of FAGAN was derived from the Gaelic O'Faodhagain. The name is of Norman origin, and was found early in Dublin as Fegan. The published pedigree of the Fagans of County Kerry, descend from the Fagans of Feltrim, County Dublin, who traced their lineage to the O'Hagan sept. A Fagan is recorded in Dublin in 1200, soon after the Anglo-Norman invasion. When the sparse Irish population began to increase it became necessary to broaden the base of personal identification by moving from single names to a more definite nomenclature. The prefix MAC was given to the father's christian name, or O to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. (Derry Fagan and Faganstown, County Meath, afterwards Feltrim and Bloike County Dublin. Descended from John Fagan of Derry Fagan who died in 1248. Richard Fagan Esq. chief of his name, forfeited his estates in consequence of his adhesion to James II. The arms were registered at Dublin in 1607. Recorded at the Ulster Office.) Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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