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Profiles

Scope

The surname Meehan is from the Irish Gaelic name Uí Miadhachain (oh mee-ach-awn) that derives from Miadhach, which means "honourable".

There seem to be three major branches:

  • Uí Miadhachain - the original Meehan family that is said to be a branch of the McCarthys from Munster that settled in Country Leitrim, at Ballymeehan (then Ballaghameighan/Ballagh Meighan) and spread to the surrounding areas: Counties Sligo, Fermanagh and Clare. Variations include Meighan, Meighen, Meaghan, etc.
  • MacMiadhachain - the Scottish branch that some suggest moved to Scotland in the 700s. Variations include: McMicking, McMeekin and Meekin (but not usually Meekins which seems to have a separate, Welsh, origin although there is some crossover). Meechan may also have originated in Scotland but migration between there and Ireland has muddied the waters.
  • Uí Mhaothagáin - the Mehigan/Mehegan/Mehagan family. The 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses show them to be largely found in County Cork (with an outlier in County Down). This would be consistent with the idea that the Mehigans are a distinct branch of the Meehans, who are said to have been the bards of O'Mahony clan and so were given land at Castlemehigan in western Cork (which was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell). The variations on the surname are usually the same as those for Meehan.

Unfortunately, the origins of these branches are either lost in the mists of time (Cork) or go back into more legendary periods where what records there are may not be overly reliable (Scotland).

Aims

To collect together the profiles of Meehans and all related variations: Mehigan, Mehegan, Mehagan, Meighan, Meighen, Meaghan, McMickens, McMicking, MacMickin, MacMichan, MacMechan, Mechan, Meechan, McMeekan, McMeekin, Meekin, Mehan, Irish Megan, etc.

This will allow us to get a grasp of the geographic distribution of these surnames and the hypotheses about the origins of the various branches can be tested with DNA analysis (see the DNA section below).

How to Participate

  • Send a request to collaborate on this project by clicking the "Actions" button and asking to join the project. One of the current collaborators will accept your request asap.
  • Once you are a member you can then add profiles to the project:
    • Click "Actions" and select "Add Profiles" then type the name into the box. If you have a lot to add it might be an idea to type the surname in, which will bring up any of the profiles you added or followed that aren't already part of the project.
    • If you find a profile that you want to add to this project and it is a public profile you have edit rights to, then navigate to the profile and under "More Actions" choose "Add to project" or if there are no other projects attached to the profile then you click the "Invite to Project" link.
  • Also, feel free to edit this page. Click here for instructions about using Wiki markup language.

For other information about projects see: Working with Projects.

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Resources

DNA

There is currently a DNA project on FamilyTreeDNA and others that might be of interest:

Notable Meehans, etc.

See Wikipedia for: Meehan, Mehigan/Meighan/Meighen and McMeekin:

  • Arthur Meighen (1874-1960), Canadian lawyer and politician who became Prime Minister. He married Isabel Cox and had the following children:
  • James Meehan (1774-1826), Irish-Australian explorer and surveyor
  • John F. Mehegan (1916-1984), American jazz pianist, music teacher and author
  • Patrick Leo Meehan (b. 1955), American Republican member of the United States House of Representatives
  • Richard Meighen (d. 1641), English publisher based in London, he is one of the Shropshire Meighens (mainly based in Shrewsbury) who are said to have got their surname because they came from the Welsh village in Llanfraid in Mechain (which is about 20 miles west of Shrewsbury)
  • Thomas McMicking (1829-1866), Canadian leader of the famed "Overlanders of '62" which traversed the continent in 1862 from Queenston, Canada West in search of gold in the Cariboo region of British Columbia
  • Thomas Meighan (1879-1936), American film actor