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O'meighan Coat of Arms / O'meighan Family Crest

O'meighan Coat of Arms / O'meighan Family Crest

This surname O'MEIGHAN and its variants were derived from the Gaelic O'Miadhachain. It is the name of at least two distinct septs now distributed throughout four provinces. The descendants of this sept have anglicized their surname as Megan. The name has long been in the parish of Rossinver. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames: they came into being fairly generally in the eleventh century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. 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 definate 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 coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered in Ballaghmaighan, County Leitrim. They were a Sept who possessed Beallach, now the parish of Ballymeehan, deriving their surname from Miadhachain, Chief of the Sept. The Four Masters record that Edru O'Miadhachain, Bishop of Clonard, died A.D.1173. A curious relic, consisting of a metal box, which contained the gospel of St. Molaise of Devenish, a celebrated saint of the 6th century, is still in the possession of the family, the Sept having preserved it for more than 1200 years. Christopher O'Meighan, an officer in the army of James 11. fell at the battle of the Boyne. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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