Donegan (surname)

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Ó Donnagáin.

Donegan (Irish: Ó Donnagáin), most commonly refers to a Gaelic Irish clan from Munster. The name is diminutive of Donn which means "brown", referring to hair colour. The most prominent dynasty were an Érainn people of the Múscraige and provided a King of Munster in the 10th century in the form of Flaithbertach mac Inmainén. Much later, the family provided the Dungan Baronets and two Earls of Limerick, the most notable of which Thomas Dongan, 2nd Earl of Limerick was a Governor of New York.

Naming conventions[edit]

Numerous spelling variations of the surname Donegan exist in Anglicised form. Different spellings include Donegan, Donnegan, Doneghan, Donneghan, Donagan, Donnagan, Donnaghan, Dunegan, Dunnegan, O'Donegan, O'Dunnegan, O'Donnaghan, Dongan, Donegin, Donnegin, Donnagen, Donagen, Donnegen, Donegen, Donnigan, Donigan, Dunnican, Dunican, Dunigan, Dunnigan, McDunnigan, McDonegan, Dongane, Dongan, Dongen, Dungan, and many more.

Male Daughter Wife (Long) Wife (Short)
Ó Donnagáin[1] Ní Dhonnagáin Bean Uí Dhonnagáin Uí Dhonnagáin


It was first found in the County Cork where they were anciently seated at Muskerry, later moving to Limerick, Kildare, and Dublin. It is also the name of a townland in Ballyloughloe civil parish, barony of Clonlonan, County Westmeath.

According to Patrick Woulfe's Irish Names and Surnames[2]

"The name of several distinct families in Ireland. They were chiefs of the extensive district of Ara, now the barony of Ara (or Duhara) in the north-west of Co. Tipperary, and of Ui Cuanach, now the barony of Coonagh in Co. Limerick. They are frequently mentioned in the Annals during the 11th and 12th century, but after the Anglo-Norman invasion they began to decline and soon disappeared from history. Their territory in later times was occupied by a branch of the O'Briens, the chief of which was styled Mac I Brien Ara. The O'Donegans of Cork were anciently chiefs of the Three Plains, now the barony of Orrery in the neighborhood of Rathluirc. Their patrimony was granted by King John of England to William de Barry, under the name of Muskerry-Donegan. There were in ancient times, three distinct families of O'Donegans in Ulster, and the name is still extant in that province. The O'Donegans were numerous at the end of the 16th century in the midlands and in North Connacht; and through by no means common, the name is at the present found in all provinces."

Variations of the spelling, including Duigenan, Duignan, Dignan, Dignam, and Degnan, may derive from another Irish family, the Clan Ó Duibhgeannáin of Co. Roscommon and Co. Leitrim.

List of people[edit]









  1. ^ "Ó Donnagáin". Sloinne. 5 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Woulfe, Patrick; "Irish Names and Surnames", page 502. Genealogical Publishing Com, 1993

External links[edit]